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Written by Don Byrd

In Oregon, more parents citing religious reasons are opting out of vaccinations for their kindergarten-aged children than in any other state in the U.S. The state senate, concerned that non-medical exemptions have become too common, has responded by passing a law that would require parents to be made aware of the medical benefits of vaccination. The purpose of the regulation is to encourage vaccination thorough awareness. But many are concerned that the result is to stifle religious liberty.

Republican Sen. Tim Knopp of Bend argued that there should be a specific religious exemption.

“What we are doing here is that in an attempt to do something wonderful, we are trampling on the Constitution — and that is absolutely wrong,” said Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg.

“We are stomping on the right of a person to dictate their own health care,” [Senator Fred] Girod said. “We are tromping on the right of a parent to dictate what is best for their kids.”

Is it a burden to require consultation with a medical professional on a matter than potentially impacts public health?The measure is Senate Bill 132. It is on to the state house.