The Massachusetts’ Joint Committee on Public Health is holding a hearing this week on two bills that threaten your ability to get religious or medical exemptions from mandated vaccines.
H. 3999 eliminates the current statutory protections for religious exemptions to vaccines. It’s a simple bill that strikes out a single paragraph in Section 15 of chapter 76 of the existing General Laws – but that paragraph is the religious belief exemption to vaccination in Massachusetts.
H. 4096 and S. 2359 are much more complicated bills that threaten vaccine exemptions in multiple ways. While still providing for medical and religious exemptions, the bills would require the doctor or family claiming the exemption to submit an approved form. And the bills severely limit people’s ability to claim the exemptions in several ways.
The form for religious exemptions would require the individual to agree with the following statements:
1) The participant or responsible adult has a sincere religious belief prohibiting vaccination.
2) Refusing to vaccinate the participant “may result in serious illness or death” of the participant (in most cases, the child.)
3) Refusing to immunize the participant “is against public policy and may result in serious illness or death of others.”
In other words, in order to have their religious beliefs respected, parents would have to sign a form effectively making themselves liable if someone else gets sick and tries to claim that it was because their child wasn’t vaccinated.
Yet the doctors and vaccine manufacturers remain immune from any liability for the side effects – injuries and deaths – caused by the vaccines they make and administer.
For medical exemptions, the department is authorized to deny the exemption if it is based on something other than a “generally accepted contraindication.” Remember that autoimmune conditions, family of adverse vaccine reactions, and many other serious risk factors are not “generally accepted contraindications.”
H.4096/ S.2359 also allows minors to consent to vaccination if the medical provider believes that it is in the minor’s best interest. And the medical provider is not liable for any kind of civil damages for such a decision – even if the child suffers a severe adverse reaction to the vaccine.
Please try to attend the hearing tomorrow! And whether or not you can come in person, it’s vital to contact your state legislators to urge them to oppose both these bills!
Talking points are below the Take Action section.
- Attend the Joint Committee on Public Health hearing
WHEN: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 from 11:30 am – 5 pm
WHERE: Gardner Auditorium.
WHAT: Plan a 2-3 minute statement explaining why you object to each bill. Focus on something that is particularly important to you or your family – don’t try to simply repeat generic talking points. You want them to remember why you, as an individual and a voter, oppose these bills.
- Call your Massachusetts state legislators
Ask both your House and Senate members to oppose both H. 3999 and H.4096.
You can look up who represents you at: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator
Calls are more effective than emails, and only take a few minutes.
“Hi, my name is ____ and I am a constituent. I am calling to ask Senator/Representative ____ to OPPOSE H. 3999, which would eliminate religious belief exemptions to vaccination. I also urge my legislator to oppose H.4096/ S.2359, which improperly limits both medical and religious exemptions.
[Add some talking points about why it is important to you personally. Do you have a religious objection to vaccination? A medical concern that isn’t covered by the “generally accepted contraindications?” Have you or a family member suffered an adverse vaccine reaction? You can use the talking points below for ideas, but make it personal to you.]
There is no need to restrict the current vaccine exemptions. The vaccination rate is currently at 96.1%. The current law is working.
I urge Senator/Representative _____ to oppose H. 3999 and H. 4069/ S.2359.”
- The US Supreme Court recognizes vaccines to be “unavoidably unsafe” and to cause injury and death in some recipients. The US Government has paid out approximately $4 billion to the victims of vaccine injury.
- Hundreds of thousands have reported an adverse reaction to vaccination to VAERS. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/ensuringsafety/monitoring/vaers/
- No one has done a study to identify how many of the injuries can deaths connected to vaccines have occurred in individuals who did not have “generally accepted contraindications.” The list of contraindications does not cover family history of adverse vaccine reactions, autoimmune disease, or many other factors that would logically be connected to an increased risk of adverse reactions.
- Vaccine makers and the healthcare providers who administer them bear zero liability for vaccine injuries and deaths. They gain all the profit from vaccination, with none of the risk — which means that they have no incentive to ensure that the benefits of any given vaccine truly outweigh the risks.
- The Massachusetts vaccination rate is currently at 96.1% for the 7 vaccines surveyed by the CDC. The existing exemptions are not a threat to the public health. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6640a3.htm
- Physicians, in the American Medical Association Code of Ethics, affirm philosophical and religious exemptions for themselves. Parents should have that same right. https://www.ama-assn.org/sites/ama-assn.org/files/corp/media-browser/code-of-medical-ethics-chapter-8.pdf
- Unvaccinated individuals do not threaten others’ health any more than vaccinated individuals. Scientific evidence demonstrates that individuals vaccinated with live virus vaccines such as MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), rotavirus, chicken pox, shingles and influenza can shed the virus for many weeks or months afterwards. https://www.westonaprice.org/studies-show-that-vaccinated-individuals-spread-disease/ Yet parents who vaccinate their children aren’t required to sign a form stating that they understand that their child could cause illness in others
View H. 3999 here: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H3999/BillHistory
View H. 4096 and S. 2359 here: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H4096