IWF’s Kelsey Bolsar Reveals Pregnant Women’s Concerns with Employer Mandated Vaccines and Safety

IWF’s Kelsey Bolsar Reveals Pregnant Women’s Concerns with Employer Mandated Vaccines and Safety


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Independent Women’s Forum Senior Policy Analyst and a contributing writer to The Federalist Kelsey Bolsar to the newsmakers line to discuss employer vaccine mandates, safety, and pregnancy.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line. Kelsey Bolsar, who writes for The Federalist and is a senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum. She has an article out called The Cost of Vaccine Mandates for Pregnant Women. Welcome, Kelsey.

Bolsar: Good morning. Thanks for having me.

Leahy: I understand that you are a graduate a Little Ivy College called Lafayette College in Easton Pennsylvania. I have been to Easton Pennsylvania a great place.

Bolsar: Absolutely. And it’s actually experiencing quite a boom right now, which is great for the surrounding area in addition to the college.

Leahy: Why is it experiencing a boom there, by the way?

Bolsar: Oh, it’s pandemic related. Individuals who used to live in New York City year-round now have more flexibility in their workplace and are looking to move to surrounding areas that might be a bit of drive but nothing crazy from New York and Easton Pennsylvania is one of them.

Leahy: Did you have fun attending Lafayette? Was it a good program?

Bolsar: Absolutely. Lafayette College is the smallest, Division one school. I was a Division one athlete for part of my college career and made a lot of close friends, had fun competing, and learned a lot.

But of course, it is one of these small liberal arts institutions that do very much lean to the left. So I’m grateful that I did come to my senses and stayed true to myself while I was there.

Leahy: I got to hear this. I did not know that it was a Division one school. For all sports is just for a few sports?

Bolsar: All sports.

Leahy: Wow. And what sport did you compete?

Bolsar: I played lacrosse.

Leahy: Oh! My girls play lacrosse. And I’ll tell you this, I never played lacrosse in my life. But when my daughter, who’s now in her early thirties, was in high school, she said, Dad, I want to play lacrosse.

We started a lacrosse team and I coached them. And by the way, if you’re a man and you played men’s sports, it’s probably not a good idea for your first time to coach a girls team, because it’s a whole different attitude, isn’t it?

Bolsar: It is. It’s a great sport, though very popular on the east coast, still picking up steam in other states across the country, but it’s very competitive on the east coast. And competing at one of the smallest division one schools in the country certainly presented its own challenges.

But college athletics is something I recommend to anybody whose interested because it teaches you life lessons you can use both of on and off the field.

Leahy: Absolutely. Well, you’ve written about one life lesson, I suppose the cost of vaccine mandates for pregnant women. Tell us what those costs are. And why are you writing about this?

Bolsar: Absolutely. I actually wrote about this because of a personal experience. I initially was hesitant to come out with my story. I am very blessed to be expecting our second child later this year.

And I was one of the many women facing a difficult decision about whether to get vaccinated as a high-risk individual who was expecting. Of course, being pregnant puts you in that high-risk boat for COVID-19.

Unlike before, I was hopeful that I was one of these young and healthy individuals that wouldn’t face a severe case. But now I had more side effects to worry about. But also, we have no data about vaccines on women from the first trimester who have actually successfully given birth because, of course, this vaccine didn’t become available until December earliest.

And so anybody who got the vaccine who was expecting during their first trimester likely has not completed their pregnancy full term and given birth, which is kind of scary regarding the number of unknowns in terms of what these vaccines could do to the development of the child.

I want to be clear that every study that has been released thus far looks really good for pregnant women getting the vaccine. Researchers have not raised any medical concerns about women getting it at any point in their pregnancy.

But, of course, with so many unknowns with a vaccine that is still in the experimental stage, this is a very personal decision for women to make who are expecting and other Americans who have high-risk conditions that put them in the boat where they might not know exactly what could happen both short and long term if they get this vaccine.

And so in light of this being a personal decision, I was looking at the national rhetoric surrounding vaccine mandates and vaccine passports and I found it very ugly and dismissive of the very legitimate concerns and serious ways Americans are thinking through the decision of whether to get vaccinated and when.

Many of us are nothing but grateful for this medical miracle, we are far from any of the sort of anti-vaxxers that you hear being shamed in the national media. Many of them on the left recited a few remarks made on The View.

And I kind of raised the question, the point of so many young, healthy Americans getting vaccinated right now is to protect the more vulnerable who do face more difficult decisions about whether to get vaccinated.

Why don’t our policies and our rhetoric reflect that? Vaccine mandates requiring them to go back to work, but women specifically in a very difficult position if they are expecting or if they are trying to get pregnant and have questions about the vaccine long term.

And it kind of forces them to reveal to their bosses very private fertility information that should remain private. No woman should be pressured or forced into revealing their fertility status before they are ready.

And many of these policies just push women up against the wall and set this dangerous precedent that we have no choice but to get vaccinated. And until we have irrefutable data in terms of vaccines and pregnancy, this does need to remain a choice.

And I can tell you, as someone who is expecting, it is a very difficult choice that women are thinking very seriously through regarding the pros and cons of getting vaccinated or not.

Leahy: So walk us through your own personal decision. You have one child. Are you currently expecting another child?

Bolsar: Yes. And I am only just out of my first trimester. And so for the past few weeks, while I’ve been watching the rhetoric and these policies be handed down, I was in that boat where there’s not just a little bit of data on successful outcomes in terms of women who are vaccinated later and their pregnancy and successfully given birth.

There is no data. And that’s a very difficult position to be in. And I can tell you I am getting mixed recommendations from doctors. Some of them tell me to get it at all cost, while others told me, don’t.

Most definitely hold off, at least until you’re in the first trimester and risk assess after that. So there is not a clear consensus in the medical community. And it’s important that that the lack of that consensus is better reflected on the national stage in terms of our policies.

I do believe that women who are expecting are in that group where if there are vaccine mandates, they would be able to get a medical exemption. But once again, this is forcing women to reveal their fertility status and very private information early on in their pregnancy before some are ready.

I do know there’s a number of individuals out there that are especially prominent in the Black community where women are concerned about the long-term implications of the vaccine on their fertility.

And this does not mean they’re anti-vaxxers. All this means is they want to wait a bit longer for more information to be given to them that reassures them that this vaccine will have no negative implications for their fertility.

Leahy: Kelsey Bolsar, that’s a very articulate explanation of the concerns that pregnant women have about whether or not to take the COVID-19 vaccine. We certainly wish you well with your pregnancy and look forward to more of your reporting. Kelsey, thanks so much for joining us today on The Tennessee Star Report.

Bolsar: Thank you.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.











Crom Carmichael Examines the Curious Disposition of Republican Ben Sasse and Biden’s SALT Wound

Crom Carmichael Examines the Curious Disposition of Republican Ben Sasse and Biden’s SALT Wound


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio who referenced a recent piece by Republican Senator Ben Sasse and the intellectual property of vaccines.

Leahy: We are joined in studio, as we almost always are, at this time of day, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday by the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael. Crom, good morning.

Carmichael: Good morning Michael.

Leahy: We had Lenny Magill on yesterday. He was great.

Carmichael: Oh. What a blast. I missed that. He’s so much fun.

Leahy: Just so everybody knows, we went to the grand opening of the Nashville Glock Store on Saturday at 1930 Airlane Drive. Still open. And they gave us a gun, a customized Tennessee Star gun, a Glock 17. Even though we didn’t have a formal competition, Crom, you were a better shot than me.

So you are going to be the owner of that gun. I’m ordering and purchasing myself a separate gun, probably a Glock 19. I’ll go and look at it. But we’ll put the Tennessee Star logo on that one as well. Now, the Glock 17 in the Glock 19 what is the difference between the two?

Leahy: I don’t really know, except I’m told that a Glock 17 has a longer barrel.

Carmichael: You told me that the other day.

Leahy: Yeah, I think so. But we’ll see. I’m gonna go there and it’s just sort of fun. And then you and I will be competing occasionally back and forth just to see. Because I am a competitive person.

Carmichael: My high school football number was 17.

Leahy: Well, there you go. It just sticks in my brain that you’re better than me Crom so I’ve got to work on it.

Carmichael: It might have just been that one day.

Leahy: I don’t think so. We know you are better but I got to work on it anyway. I like talking about that because it’s fun. They’re fun people. And the energy over there, the interest in understanding how to use guns and Second Amendment rights. It’s very very strong.

Carmichael: Their training is second to none, which means it’s the best.

Leahy: It’s the best. Crom, one thing that’s always so interesting dealing with you, is that you have such an active mind. You read so much and you really examine issues. Every time you come in, you tell me, well, I was reading this. I was reading that. So you’re a voracious reader.

Carmichael: Voracious. Word of the day.

Leahy: Voracious. (Carmichael laughs) Word of the day. Voracious reader.

Carmichael: There are two articles that I want to talk about during this segment that are really kind of interesting. One is Ben Sasse who is the Senator from Nebraska who sometimes will go off half-cocked and say things that just make no sense at all.

Leahy: He’s a Republican. He’s an odd duck.

Carmichael: He’s an odd duck. That’s a great way to put it. And sometimes he says something that’s profound in a positive way. And then other times he will say something that you just scratch your head and say, why on earth would you say that?

Leahy: That’s a good description of Ben Sasse.

Carmichael: Except, in this case, he actually wrote an article, which means he had plenty of time to think about it, which even makes it a bigger head-scratcher. But Here’s the title of the article. The U.S. Can Stop the Pandemic Encounter China.

And he’s calling on the U.S. under Biden, which is almost hysterical, to vaccinate a billion people around the world by Thanksgiving.

Leahy: What? This is Ben Sasse the Republican?

Carmichael: Yes.

Leahy: Oh, Ben.

Carmichael: Now, here’s the problem. The problem with that, first of all, manufacturing vaccines is not something you go down to your corner drugstore and ask them to whip up a vaccine. It is not easy to do the materials that go into vaccines.

I’m not going to say that you can’t find them because you certainly can. But making vaccines is not easy. And so the process itself, you can’t just job that out. You can’t just hire subcontractors to go make vaccines. That’s number one.

Number 2, there’s the know-how to making vaccines and the know-how to making a vaccine is something that falls under the category of either corporate secrets or IP intellectual property. And Ben Sasse while he acknowledges that what Biden is talking about doing of where they take away the intellectual property of big pharmaceutical companies in regard to the vaccine, he then essentially proceeds to just ignore what he acknowledges.

Leahy: This has all the earmarks of a disaster.

Carmichael: Well, it’s not possible is what I’m saying. If you try to set a goal that is completely unachievable and you do it because you would like to achieve it. It’s just a dumb idea. And it’s a dumb idea not because it wouldn’t be nice if it could be done.

It just simply can’t be done. You can’t give away your intellectual property. First of all, if you did give away your intellectual property around the world, it wouldn’t mean that the people around the world would know how to manufacture a vaccine properly.

But once you do give it away, then you’ve given away billions and tens of billions of dollars of value. And you’ve done it for no, particularly good reason because this would fail anyway. It’s kind of a shame to see a Republican almost like he’s whimsically sitting there having a cup of coffee in the morning saying, you know what?

I’ve got a great idea. Let me just snap my finger and we’ll have a billion people vaccinated by Thanksgiving. That’ll be the goal, and we’ll do it. This reminds me of Biden the other day saying that he has appointed somebody to review the global supply chain.

And that was all he said. I’m going to review the global supply chain. Of what? Everything. Biden makes many statements that are just ridiculous. But that one that even the press corps had to be laughing up their sleeves saying by God this guy is a fool. So that was kind of an issue.

Leahy: Let me just, please. One comment on Ben Sasse. He’s 45 years old, some younger guy. But I think this is an example of people that have spent too much time reading books and not doing things. He has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, a Masters of Arts in Liberal studies.

Carmichael: Maybe that explains it.

Leahy: I think so.

Carmichael: Because in Harvard, that’s a snap your finger school now. (Snaps) Snap your fingers. We fixed it.

Leahy: He has a Master of Arts in Liberal studies, no surprise from St. John’s, and a Ph.D. in history from Yale University. He worked in the George W. Bush administration as a policy guy. That means he snapped his fingers and made-up stuff.

Carmichael: That helps under explain it, too.

Leahy: He was the President of a small University, Midland University in Fremont, and was elected first in 2014. Reelected in 2020. He was one of seven Republican senators voting to convict Donald Trump of incitement of insurrection in the second trial. The guy has never had a job in his life. And you can tell there’s a flaw in his thinking. That’s his problem.

Carmichael: He’s a very bright guy, but he’s just simply an impractical guy. And he also apparently doesn’t know how to treat people equally. Because if he thinks that what Trump did on January sixth by giving a speech was inciting a riot, then he needs to learn how to apply the law equally to everybody.

But let me jump to another subject because it’s also kind of interesting. And this one has irony just written all over it. Bernie Sanders has come out and publicly stated that he will not support a tax increase of any kind if it includes doing away with the state and local tax limitations.

In the 2017 bill, what Trump and the Republicans passed, and I don’t think any Democrats voted for, but maybe a few did. Let’s just say it was the Trump bill. What Trump did was he cut taxes. But he also reduced a lot of the write-offs that people could have. And one of the write-offs that Trump and the Republicans did away with is being able to deduct your state and local taxes.

Leahy: Which is, in essence, a subsidy of high-income tax states. Blue states.

Carmichael: And it really helps the millionaires and the billionaires because that is where state and local taxes hit the hardest. So Trump did away with that deduction. And Bernie Sanders says he will not vote for a bill that puts that reduction back in.

The Democrats from New York and California say they won’t vote for a bill that doesn’t include it. There are other Democratic Senators but Bernie now has come out on that one particular issue. So I think that Biden’s tax increase bill is dead water.

Leahy: And it’s called state and local taxes or SALT. And so Bernie Sanders is…

Carmichael: Rubbing salt in Biden’s wounds.

Leahy: Very good.

Carmichael: Thanks for the setup. (Laughter)

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.