[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Cure Autism Now Government Affairs
Government Relations Alert July 31, 2002
Congress has recently been kind to the autism community and Senator Frist in particular was a prime supporter of the pediatric health act, which is why it is particularly disappointing to have the effort on S2503 led by a man who has always been a friend to our community. There are no two ways about it, from the autism community’s point of view, this is a particularly lousy, cynical bill, and Cure Autism Now does not support it.
Cure Autism Now has consistently had one and only one position on vaccines and autism (particularly the effects of Thimerosal). Our position is that there is not enough good scientific information on the subject and that is why we are funding work in this area.
S2503 is not about science and it is not really about universal vaccination. It is about tort reform. It is about providing total legal immunity for the vaccine community way before the facts are in. (It is as if Congress were saying, “You’re innocent even if proven guilty.”) The facts are not in. We don’t know yet if vaccines or Thimerosal have an important causal link to autism. We don’t know yet to what extent the CDC and FDA might have suspected a link but decided not to change policy or share the information with the public.
Given how little we know for certain, it seems very inappropriate for Congress to decide that the FDA, the CDC and the pharmaceutical industry should not be held accountable for any possible ill effects of vaccine policy, and in fact should get special protection over and above those already carved out in the Vaccine Injury Compensation act.
On the contrary, we believe that in America children and their families deserve special protection, not federal agencies or industry groups with the ability to spend 700 million dollars a year lobbying congress.
We do support safe childhood vaccinations. We do support continued scientific research. We also support full disclosure by the FDA and the CDC. We do support reform of the VICA. We categorically do not support this bill, which comes to political conclusions without any foundation in scientific fact.
Today this bill is being marked up in the Senate Health, Education and Labor committee. We do not know if it will be voted down or sent on for full consideration by the Senate. We do know that in any event there is no further action to be taken until September when Congress is back in session. We also feel that it is exceedingly unlikely that Senator Daschle will allow this bill to come to the senate floor any time soon. We also believe that in the current climate where anything that smacks of cronyism is coming under extra scrutiny, even Republican and administration support for this bill will be tepid.
We believe that at this moment there is nothing critical to be done. If the bill gets out of committee unchanged Cure Autism Now will fight very hard against it — both behind the scenes and on the front lines. If we have been laid back on this legislation, it is only because we felt that what we were seeing in the Senate was politics not policy and that the likelihood of S2053 becoming law was very slim. We promise to alert you to any change in the status.
Government Affairs ALERT – Monday, July 16, 2001 To parents and friends of all developmentally disabled children: Our tax credit bill was introduced in the Senate by Senator Torrecelli (D-NJ) and in the House by Congressman English (R-21st PA) the last week of June. The Senate bill is S.1122, and the House bill is HR.2339. The bills ask for a refundable credit against tax with respect to education and training of developmentally disabled children. The Senate version asks for $3,000., and the House version for $2,000. and the final figure will be worked out down the line.
Here is the list of current cosponsors in the House. There are not yet any Senators listed as cosponsors.
Rep Bryant, Ed – 7/24/2001
Rep Hart, Melissa A. – 7/27/2001
Rep Isakson, Johnny – 7/17/2001
Rep Kildee, Dale E. – 7/17/2001
Rep Knollenberg, Joe – 7/19/2001
Rep Lofgren, Zoe – 7/23/2001
Rep Pascrell, Bill, Jr. – 7/27/2001
Rep Wexler, Robert – 7/19/2001
Rep Wolf, Frank R. – 7/26/2001
Rep Blagojevich, Rod R. – 6/27/2001
Rep Brady, Robert – 6/28/2001
Rep Brown, Corrine – 6/27/2001
Rep Davis, Jo Ann – 7/10/2001
Rep Doyle, Michael F. – 6/27/2001
Rep Fossella, Vito – 6/27/2001
Rep Gordon, Bart – 7/10/2001
Rep Greenwood, James C. – 6/27/2001
Rep Horn, Stephen – 6/27/2001
Rep King, Peter T. – 6/27/2001
Rep Mascara, Frank – 7/10/2001
Rep Pallone, Frank, Jr. – 7/10/2001
Rep Rahall, Nick J., II – 6/28/2001
Rep Roukema, Marge – 6/27/2001
Rep Shows, Ronnie – 6/27/2001
Rep Smith, Christopher H. – 6/27/2001
Rep Spence, Floyd – 6/27/2001
Rep Tiahrt, Todd – 6/27/2001
Rep Wamp, Zach – 6/28/2001
Here’s what we need to do now!
Now it is time to ask all other members of the House and all the Senators to cosponsor. Contact the Congressman for your district and both your Senators and urge him or her to cosponsor Congressman English’s and Senator Torrecelli’s bill to provide a refundable credit against tax with respect to education and training of developmentally disabled children.
Start with a call to the Congressman for your district. If you don’t know their phone number, or aren’t sure who your congressman is, go to:http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.html , enter your zip code, then click on your member’s web site. Ask for the legislative aide that handles tax matters. Be sure to let them know you are a constituent, and explain how expensive it is to care for your child, and how a tax credit for developmentally disabled children is long overdue. Ask the aide to ask the Congressman to cosponsor HR.2339, and to get back to you and let you know if he or she will support the bill. If your Congressman is interested, have them call Laura Eugster at 202-225-5406 in Congressman English’s office.
Next call both your Senators. You can get their contact information at: http://www.senate.gov/contacting/index_by_state.cfm. Again, ask for the legislative aide that handles tax matters. Be sure to let them know you are a constituent, and explain how expensive it is to care for your child, and how a tax credit for developmentally disabled children is long overdue. Ask the aide to ask the Senator to cosponsor S.1122, and to get back to you and let you know if he or she will support the bill. If your Senators are interested, have them call Kyle Mulroy at 202-224-3224 in Senator Torrecelli’s office.
If your Congressman or either of your Senators confirms that they will cosponsor, please let Elizabeth know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please forward this message to everyone with a developmentally disabled child. Thank you,
Jonathan Shestack, Co-founder, Cure Autism Now
Elizabeth Emken, Government Affairs Coordinator, Cure Autism Now
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community
More With Cure Autism Now
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.