TV stars go head-to-head over mandatory vaccines

ABC

Two soap actors from ABC’s soap, General Hospital, won’t be returning to the show next year after they publicly expressed their opposition to a Mandatory Geographical Vaccination Act passed in Massachusetts this fall.

Michael Easton, who has played Ian Buchanan on General Hospital since 1991, spoke out against the Massachusetts Act in a statement to The Boston Globe last month. He expressed his personal personal belief that vaccinations cause autism, citing “scientific quackery” in order to make his personal viewpoint known.

“The conflict with vaccinations is in the popular culture, and I get that I will be labeled the hatemonger if I don’t take the side of the other side,” Easton told The Globe. “That’s the freedom of expression we have in America. But there is a lot of conflicted information out there that has to be disputed.”

Shortly after, Lacey Chabert, who has played the character Annie Chandler on the soap since 1987, agreed with Easton. Chabert put out a social media statement to “admit defeat” in regards to her personal belief that vaccines don’t cause autism and instead only cause adverse events.

“My opinion is that the current health-care models on which families are now relying, particularly on vaccines, have not been proven safe, scientifically, over a long period of time,” Chabert wrote. “It’s not right to force my own child to be vaccinated without evidence of harm.”

The Act passed at the end of September. Under the new law, it is now mandatory for all children to receive vaccinations prior to enrollment in kindergarten, starting in 2020.

It has been reported that both Easton and Chabert will be replaced by actors on the show in January. “Both actors shared in ABC’s release that they would be leaving the show. Although ABC has moved swiftly to replace them, Easton and Chabert will be missed,” The Boston Globe said in a statement.

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