Autism and Childhood Vaccines Hearing Opening Statement: Dennis Kucinich | April 6, 2000

View opening statement here >>

Read all testimony here >>

Mr. Kucinich. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    I have to first inform you that I have a markup and votes 
in another committee, so I will not be able to stay. But I did 
want to come here specifically to support the cause of this 
hearing and your efforts in this regard.
    While I agree with Mr. Waxman when he says the history of 
vaccinations has shown a lot of benefits, it is important for 
science to take note of the increased reporting with respect to 
rates of autism in recent years. If we have a higher incidence 
of autism, this is an appropriate subject for a congressional 
inquiry, and I think it is also appropriate for us to ask 
questions not only of the witnesses here today but of the 
industry producing these vaccines. I am particularly interested 
in what are their production protocols for the vaccines which 
our children receive; how are the vaccines being made; what is 
in the vaccines; are there any differences in how the vaccines 
were made years ago and how they are made today; are there any 
different products in there?
    These are questions which could lend themselves to an 
understanding of why there is an increased rate today, and it 
seems to be different than what it was years ago.
    So I think that when you see the heartfelt concern which is 
expressed here, the witnesses who are appearing and are 
scheduled to appear, and when you see that there are scientists 
who are willing to address the question of a causal link 
between autism and a vaccine, and when you have a scientist who 
is ready to say maybe there is not a causal link--the fact that 
this debate has begun here suggests an important moment in this 
Congress and in this country on the issue of autism. We need to 
find out if there is a link, and if there is a link, we need to 
go right back to the way the vaccine is made and what it is 
made of--because the problem may not be in our children; the 
problem may be in what our children are being given.
    So I thank you very much for your diligence, Mr. Chairman, 
and for your commitment and for your quality of heart on issues 
of public health importance.
    Mr. Burton. Thank you, Mr. Kucinich, and I want to thank 
you for all the help you have given us on a whole host of 
issues relating to the health of the people of this country.
    Mr. Kucinich. I want to say I would not be on this 
committee if it were not for Mr. Waxman inviting me to be on 
this committee, and I am on it because of my deep respect for 
Mr. Waxman, whom I revere as not just our leader, but for me, 
he has been a personal hero. But I think I am on a committee 
with two of the best people in the House, so I am pretty 
    Mr. Burton. I hope everybody heard that. That was from the 
other side of the aisle. [Laughter.]


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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