Two bills that would repeal religious exemptions to mandatory vaccinations in Connecticut are one step closer to passing.
Article by LeeAnn Ducat from Children’s Health Defense.
Despite strong opposition by some lawmakers, members of Connecticut’s Public Health Committee on March 31 passed SB-568 and HB-6423 out of committee. The bills passed along party lines, with 22 Democrats voting in favor and 11 Republicans opposed.
A floor vote could take place as early as April 19.
If the bills pass as currently written, the religious exemption would be removed immediately for children in daycare, preschool and kindergarten through sixth grade in public and private schools. However, religious exemptions already on file for students currently enrolled in grades seven through 12 and college would be upheld and those students would be allowed to remain in school. New students would be unable to obtain religious exemptions.
Connecticut health freedom advocates faced a number of challenges this year, including changes in membership on the Public Health Committee. State Reps. Jack Hennessy, D-Bridgeport, and David Michel, D-Stamford, who were the only two democrats to vote against the measure last February, did not get reappointed to the health committee.
When asked about the shuffle, Speaker of the House Matt Ritter (D) Hartford stated, “I did my very best to give people the committees they wanted to be on. But there are dozens of members of the caucus who were not able to get all the committees they wanted. It’s a tough juggling act.”
Connecticut families opposed to the bills are fighting back. Many are canvassing neighborhoods, arranging town halls, launching petitions, throwing rallies, setting up group Zoom calls with legislators and sending out press releases — but they need your help.
Consider signing this national petition, “5 Reasons To Veto, a Petition to Governor Ned Lamont,” even if you don’t live in Connecticut.
The petition covers these five main points:
- The repeal of the religious exemption is unnecessary: School vaccine mandates and religious exemptions can co-exist without harming public health according to Connecticut’s own school survey.
- The fetal DNA issue alone makes this a legitimate religious issue, and protecting religious liberty is also a compelling state interest.
- Mandates violate the human right to informed consent.
- Mandates violate international bioethics standards, which prioritize the individual over the state.
- Repealing religious liberty creates religious freedom refugees within the U.S. as families move to states which respect religion.
Other ways you can help:
If you live in Connecticut, please sign your senate district petition.
Consider donating to our proactive efforts to assemble a dream legal team to challenge the repeal if it were to go through.
Consider donating to our efforts to push our petition to Governor Lamont in as media outlets as we can.
Keep Connecticut a place people will want to move and attend school. Please sign for every member of your household, even children, and share with others.