Colorado moves to erode parents’ choice to exempt kids from vaccination

Colorado moves to erode parents’ choice to exempt kids from vaccination By Calvin Freiburger for Life Site News

Critics fear Senate Bill 163 will weaken Colorado’s existing exemptions for vaccinating minors.

Legislation that critics fear will weaken Colorado’s existing exemptions for vaccinating minors will proceed to the House floor for consideration after a 7-4 vote this weekend by the state’s House Health and Insurance Committee.

Senate Bill 163 would task the state health department with annually reviewing and updating the state’s immunization practices, setting a goal of 95 percent vaccination for the student body of every school.

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It is controversial partly for a provision that would recategorize exemptions for non-medical reasons under general exemptions, rather than distinct “religious exemption” and “personal exemption” categories. While the bill doesn’t eliminate any exemptions, critics fear that the decision to stop spelling out these specific justifications in the law is a precursor to ending them.

“It is the incrementalism,” Theo Wilson, an opponent of the bill, testified at the hearing. “It is the way in which they slowly remove this choice and that choice. And before you know it, there is no choice.”

Another contentious provision would require parents claiming a religious or personal exemption to either produce a certificate signed by a physician or complete an online course about vaccines, raising questions as to who will write such a course.

“In my 16 years I learned not to trust public health because they are not good sources of information,” testified former Republican state Rep. Kevin Lundberg. “They are not the good guys. They are the bad guys.”

Mandatory vaccination, which is a hot topic again thanks to COVID-19, is controversial for a number of reasons. While the media often fixate on parents who oppose vaccines based on hotly-debated fears over side effects, they tend to overlook another group that supports vaccines in general while having an ethical conflict with vaccines derived from aborted babies’ cells.

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