Written by Don Byrd
The largest outbreak of measles in the United States in more than 25 years has led lawmakers in multiple states to rethink religious exemptions from vaccination laws. Politico reports:
Democrats in six states — Colorado, Arizona, New Jersey, Washington, New York and Maine — have authored or co-sponsored bills to make it harder for parents to avoid vaccinating their school-age children…
In Washington state, which has one of the biggest measles outbreaks, a bill in the state Senate to narrow vaccine exemptions passed through the health committee without the support of a single Republican. The same thing happened in legislative committees in Colorado and Maine over the past week.
Meanwhile, via Religion Clause, an order issued last week by the New York City Health Department mandating measles vaccinations for everyone without immunity or a medical exemption in a certain radius is the subject of a lawsuit brought by a group of parents who object to the vaccine on religious grounds. The suit claims the city’s claim of an emergency supporting such an extreme action is not warranted by the facts.
This issue promises continue to intensify as states look to restrict parents’ ability to claim religious exemption from vaccinating their children. At the same time, the current outbreak continues to expand. Stay tuned.