As some of you may have seen, I posted about an issue in the State of Washington where there was a bill trying to restrict the personal decisions of parents and require them to get their children vaccinated without the choice of religious or philosophical exemption. Since then, there have been some changes.
First of all, the Senate Bill (ESB 5005) passed on March 25th. That means, 90 after the adjournment of the session, the bill becomes law. Now if the session adjourned that day, the new law would take effect on approximately June 23rd.
Secondly, the bill was slightly changed since my last posting on the topic. The philosophical exemption is still gone. The religious exemption was left on the books, it's just been changed. You need to prove membership in a church that does not allow medical care. Also, the medical exemption is still on the books. For both the religious and medical exemption, you will be required to visit a medical practitioner (eg: MD, DO, ND, NP), get a signed piece of paper stating that you have been informed and educated on vaccines (not necessarily the detriments of vaccines), then meet the religious exemption requirement or prove that your son or daughter's health is in danger when receiving a vaccine.
However, for those of us who do not belong to a church that prohibits medical care, myself included, that creates a bit of an issue. Forget about the right to choose what you deem necessary for your children for a second. You will be required to pay for an office visit to a medical practitioner to maybe get a piece of paper signed saying you are exempt for a medical reason. Not to mention, they typically give vaccines while at the hospital after the baby is born. And if you have time to get that separate office visit done in the couple minutes between the birth and the administration of the Hep B vaccine, more power to you.
The only way to fully get around the new law is to home school your children.
Finally, I've had a few people ask what we can do in the meantime. Sadly, there's not much. As I've been told by higher ups, there will be litigation in the court system against the Constitutionality of the bill. One way to help support is to join the Yahoo group Fundamental Rights Coalition of WA to stay up to date with what is going on. You can also contact your legislator on the issue. At the end of the post, I will list which legislators voted for restricting our rights and which voted against restricting vaccination exemption.
The best way to help fight what has happened is the good old grass roots movement. Spread the word. Let your friends and family know what's happened in WA State. Of course, if anyone has comments or questions, please feel free to comment below.
Yea Votes (voted to restrict vaccination exemption):
Representatives Alexander, Anderson, Bailey, Billig, Blake, Carlyle, Chandler, Clibborn, Cody, Dahlquist, Dammeier, Darneille, Dickerson, Dunshee, Eddy, Finn, Fitzgibbon, Frockt, Goodman, Green, Haigh, Haler, Hasegawa, Hope, Hudgins, Hunt, Hunter, Hurst, Jinkins, Johnson, Kagi, Kelley, Kenney, Ladenburg, Liias, Lytton, Maxwell, McCoy, Miloscia, Moeller, Moscoso, Nealey, Ormsby, Orwall, Pedersen, Pettigrew, Probst, Reykdal, Roberts, Rodne, Rolfes, Ryu, Santos, Seaquist, Sells, Smith, Springer, Stanford, Sullivan, Takko, Tharinger, Upthegrove, Van De Wege, Walsh, Wilcox, and Mr. Speaker
Nay Votes (voted to keep philosophical, religious, and medical exemptions as they were):
Representatives Ahern, Angel, Armstrong, Asay, Buys, Condotta, Crouse, DeBolt, Fagan, Hargrove, Harris, Hinkle, Kirby, Klippert, Kretz, Kristiansen, McCune, Orcutt, Overstreet, Parker, Pearson, Rivers, Ross, Shea, Schmick, Short, Taylor, Warnick, and Zeiger