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    People Are Very Upset About This Leunig Cartoon

    UPDATE: Prominent artist responds to criticisms of his cartoon.

    People are really upset at Michael Leunig for a cartoon that featured in today's edition of The Age, that they say supports the anti-vaccination movement.

    Michael Leunig / leunig.com.au

    The cartoon is likely to be a response to the government recently taking a strong stand on anti-vaxxers, announcing their "no jab, no pay" policy for childcare welfare payments over the weekend.

    Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    Twitter user @mattburke pointed out that Leunig has a history of taking an anti-vax stance, with this cartoon appearing in The Age in 1997.

    Michael Leunig / Twitter: @matttburke

    In the cartoon, a doctor attacks a mother for having doubts about vaccinating her child, who responds by telling him to "stick your needle up your intellect!"

    People on Twitter say Leunig's cartoon sets up an unfair dichotomy between medical science and a mother's love.

    Note to Age: I'm sure Grandma loved my Uncle. But he was one of the 40,000 Australians who contracted paralytic polio

    Dear #leunig , don't think mother's love could have prevented by Dad's polio, but a vaccine would have #auspol

    The issue I have with #leunig's premise is that if you DO vaccinate, you're putting science over love. Wrong. I used science BECAUSE I love.

    A mum's love can stop measles? 400 deaths a day in 2013, mostly under 5s. Not loved enough? @WHO #cartoons #leunig

    Wonder what the child mortality rate from preventable diseases would be in Leunig's People's Republic of Whimsy?

    Other cartoonists have responded to the controversial cartoon. Along with Leunig, Cathy Wilcox is a resident artist for Fairfax.

    Why do they always illustrate vaccination stories with pictures of crying babies?

    Cartoonist Wes Mountain posted this parody of a Leunig drawing on Twitter.

    tomorrow's leunig cartoon has been leaked:

    In fairness to Leunig, I doubt many doctors would recommend flinging syringes at fleeing women and their babies.

    So glad I was inoculated against Leunig at a young age.

    Others say Leunig's cartoon could be interpreted as satirical, and that it instead targets the viciousness surrounding the vaccination debate.

    WikiMedia Commons

    @badtastefatboy This is satire. Look at the drawing not the words. Leunig has the mother running in fear not standing up bravely.

    Leunig's cartoon is a very skilled rendering of *why* a lot of people don't vaccinate their kids.

    I’ve changed my mind. This is great work because we’re all thinking and talking about it. And that’s his job. #leunig

    Michael Leunig has not responded to BuzzFeed News' request for an interview.

    Michael Leunig is in support of the right of individuals to conscientiously refuse vaccination for their children. This support does not necessarily indicate a position on vaccination per se, it is primarily a human rights issue that he addresses in his cartoons. Michael feels the punitive approach by the government to people of conscientious belief regarding this matter is coercive and unjust, and sets an appalling example to society about how those opposed might be universally regarded and treated.

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