Autism and Childhood Vaccines Hearing Opening Statement: Connie Morella | April 6, 2000

Opening statement by Connie Morella at the Autism & Childhood Vaccines Hearing on April 6, 2000. Blonde hair woman with blue blazer and multi-colored shirt at a microphone.

See testimony here >>

Read all testimony here >>

Mrs. Morella.
    Mrs. Morella. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your 
effort to hold this important hearing on autism, and I look 
forward to hearing the testimony of the witnesses.
    I come to this hearing today with an open mind, ready to 
listen carefully to the testimony of the witnesses. Autism and 
its associated behaviors have been estimated to occur in as 
many as 1 in 500 individuals. Over 500,000 people in the United 
States today have some form of autism. The estimated prevalence 
rate of autism now places it as the third most common 
developmental disability--more commonly occurring than Down 
    Mr. Chairman, in your opening statements, you mentioned 
that there was a 513 percent increase in my State of Maryland 
between 1993 and 1998, and I notice that the first witness on 
our first panel, Mr. Curtis, is from Maryland.
    Unfortunately, there is almost no existing data on causes 
or links to causes of autism in children. I am very concerned 
with these striking statistics. I am most concerned with the 
lack of information and the confusion surrounding the issue of 
vaccines and their relationship to autism.
    I hope that today we can come closer to discerning what the 
appropriate steps are for this committee and for Government to 
take. I hope to learn from testimony that will make this 
committee better understand where we need to focus research 
dollars, be it through vaccines, genetic or environmental 
factors, and the question of why is autism four times more 
prevalent in boys than in girls. I hope to get some sense of 
what further studies are needed so that we can accelerate 
research on autism.
    There is no question in my mind that this is an issue of 
high priority and that more studies are needed. That is why I 
wrote to our Representative John Porter, who chairs the House 
Subcommittee on Appropriations for Labor and Health and Human 
Services, requesting an increase in funding for autism 
epidemiology research at the National Center for Environmental 
Health within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 
an appropriation of $1.5 million for the CDC to expand its 
epidemiology activities in autism from two isolated studies to 
a more national scope.
    An increase in funding for autism epidemiology research in 
2001 will enable CDC to expand monitoring efforts to other 
parts of the country. This will allow them to better understand 
the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders--information which 
is necessary to eventually discover prevention, treatment, and 
a cure for autism.
    I think that the choice of this ribbon with its puzzle 
pieces as the symbol of autism, with the heart in the center, 
is most appropriate.
    I yield back and look forward to hearing from the 


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 workIn 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.

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