Louisiana State Senator Repeats Myth that Vaccines Cause Autism


Democratic State Senator John Milkovich commented during the Louisiana legislative session that he believes the myth that vaccines cause autism.

“When Senator Lambert and I were growing up autism did not exist,” Milkovich said. “Many of you may know, some of the leading researchers in America say that autism is a result of vaccination.”

Milkovich made his comments while debating a bill that would allow adults to opt-in to a statewide immunization database. He also stated that “tissue from aborted babies is now used in vaccines.”

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However, Milkovich’s claims are exactly the opposite of what most researchers believe. In fact, a 2013 study conducted by the CDC showed conclusively that vaccines do not cause autism spectrum disorder. Neither does the commonly-blamed ingredient thimerosal; since 2003 the CDC has funded or conducted a total of nine different studies, all of which found no link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.

Scientists haven’t yet discovered what exactly causes autism. However, most of the current scientific research revolves around genetic and biological causes such as gene mutations and immune system problems.

Senator Milkovich’s comments are ones that are often repeated by those in the anti-vax movement, which has resulted in the current measles outbreak sweeping across the nation. Officials have said the current outbreak, which began in December 2018, is the worst the country has seen in 25 years.


Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.

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2 thoughts on “Louisiana State Senator Repeats Myth that Vaccines Cause Autism

  1. Questions for Democratic State Senator John Milkovich:
    • Which “leading researchers” have linked vaccines to autism?
    • Autism was first described by Dr. Langdon Down in the 1880s. The word “autistic” first appeared in the medical literature in 1911. The first case study of autistic individuals was published in 1943. So how can you say autism “didn’t exist” when you were growing up?
    • When you say “tissue from aborted babies is now used in vaccines”, are you implying that vaccines contain fetal tissue? Or did you mean to say “some vaccine strain antigens are grown in a fetal tissue line harvested in 1963?”
    • Where do you get your information about vaccines?

    Thank you.

  2. The problem is that vaccines are not tested for safety against true placebos. What the FDA considers a placebo is another vaccine that has already received FDA approval. So naturally if the preservative Thimerosal is present in both vaccines, the outcome would likely show no significant difference between the control group (receiving the placebo which is another vaccine) and treated group (receiving the tested vaccine).
    Another issue that is under that the FDA does not require safety testing of multiple vaccines given at any given time. Certainly the interaction of various vaccines should be tested for deleterious effects.
    Finally, there is no science to support the vaccine schedule itself. It seems the PFA (Pluck From Air) method is used to determine when various vaccines are given.

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