Australia's most controversial anti-vaccination group compares immunisation to rape

Australia’s most controversial anti-vaccination organisation is in hot water, again, after it likened immunising for preventable diseases to rape in a post on its Facebook page.

On Wednesday, The Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network posted a black and white image of a woman being grabbed from behind by a man who is silencing by putting his hand over her mouth.

It reads: “FORCED PENETRATION. Really – no big deal, if it’s just a vaccination needle, and he’s a doctor, Do you really ‘need’ control over your own choices?”

The post has caused an uproar – with both opposing and allied parties agreeing that the Network has gone too far, and have called for the group to remove the post and apologise.

Shadow minister for health, Catherine King, told Fairfax Media that the nature of the post “shows how completely unhinged the AVSN has become”.

As of this morning the page appears to be unavailable.

AVSN head Meryl Dorey said “the image was very much in-your-face and should not have been posted here”, according to The SBS.

This is not the first time the group has compared vaccination to rape.

In tweet in 2011, it compared a court ordering the vaccination of a child as “court orders rape of a child”.

Last March, the AVSN lost its charity status following concerns it may adversely affect children’s health and earlier this month, prime minister Tony Abbott flagged an end to government income support worth up to $15,000 to parents who choose to not immunise their children.

The AVSN was also forced to change its name by the New South Wales Fair Trading Department following complaints that the name, “Australian Vaccination Network” was misleading and made it sound like a government agency.

Read more here.

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