Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
89.3 KPCC: The California Senate Thursday approved a controversial bill that would abolish the personal belief exemption and require almost all children enrolling in daycare or school to be vaccinated.
CT Mirror: Inspired by the California measles outbreak, the Connecticut House voted 86 to 56 Thursday to require parents to annually declare if they are refusing to vaccinate their children on religious grounds.
Reuters: California’s senate education committee approved a bill making it mandatory for children to be vaccinated before starting school despite opposition from “ant-vaxxer” parents who have packed public hearings and flooded lawmakers with calls.
Religion News Service (Reuters): The author of a California bill to require school children to be vaccinated for such diseases as polio and measles regardless of their parents’ personal beliefs said he would revive the measure, which stalled in the legislature last week.
The Charlotte Observer: North Carolina parents could no longer claim a religious exemption to having their children vaccinated against disease under a bill introduced Thursday in the state Senate.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (The Legal Intelligencer): Walgreen Co. was within its rights to fire a pharmacist who had moral objections to administering flu vaccines, a federal judge has ruled.
Townhall: One of the best ways to torch your comment feed on social media is to post something about vaccines. But I believe common ground can exist on this issue—if people care more about solutions than about demonizing their opponents.
National Law Journal: As a nationwide measles outbreak grows, state legislatures are pushing through bills that would make it harder for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children.
First Things: It seems to me very likely that opponents will use the outbreak to attack the Court’s decision last term in Hobby Lobby, the Contraception Mandate case.
Religion News Service: With measles outbreaks in 14 states and health authorities imploring parents to weigh the minimal risks of vaccines against the ravages of preventable disease, some Christians are raising an objection of a completely different sort: the abortion connection.
ERLC: The recent debates about whether Christians should vaccinate their children have once again raised questions about the use of vaccines that have been morally tainted by the use of cell cultures derived from aborted fetal tissue in the manufacturing of vaccines. This is such an important issue and we felt it warranted its own article to address some of the questions around the science and morality of the use of fetal tissue in vaccines.
Reuters: New York state’s requirement that children be vaccinated in order to attend public school does not violate parents’ religious rights under the U.S. Constitution, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.
Reiss, Dorit Rubinstein, Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord Thy God in Vain: Use and Abuse of Religious Exemptions from School Immunization Requirements. (February 16, 2014). Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 65, No. 6, 2014. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2396903
The Island Now: “A U.S. District judge recently denied a Great Neck mother the right to continue with her case against the Great Neck Public School District for refusing to give her child a religious exemption from a required vaccination.”
LifeSiteNews: The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has reported that a healthy 16-year-old Australian girl lost all ovarian function and went into menopause after being injected with the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil.
AP: On Thursday, the Senate approved a bill that would make it more difficult for parents to get nonmedical exemptions from vaccines for their children. It now goes to the House. The 16-13 vote was along party lines.
Religion Clause Blog: In Check v. New York City Department of Education, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71124 (ED NY, May 20, 2013), a New York federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendations (2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71223, March 22, 2013) and refused to issue a preliminary injunction to require admission of plaintiff’s 5-year old daughter to school without required immunizations.
Education Week: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up the appeal of a New York State couple who unsuccessfully sought a religious exemption from the vaccinations required for one of their children to attend public schools . . . The justices declined without comment to hear the family’s appeal in Caviezel v. Great Neck Public Schools (Case No. 12-869).
OR: Juvenile Court May Order Immunization of Children In State Custody Over Religious Objections of Parents
Religion Clause Blog: In In re M.M., (OR App., April 3, 2013), the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the authority of a juvenile court to order immunization of children who are wards of the court, even though the children’s mother and father have religious objections to immunization.
LifeSiteNews: I can’t imagine President Bush’s Council on Bioethics ever countenancing this, but President Obama’s bioethics advisory commission has given conditional approval to test anthrax vaccine on children! From the Reuters story . . .
Religion Clause Blog: In Chenzira v. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, (SD OH, Dec. 27, 2012), an Ohio federal district court held that a hospital customer service worker may be able to show that her employer’s refusal to accommodate her vegan beliefs amounted to religious discrimination under Title VII and state anti-discrimination laws. Plaintiff was fired for refusing to be vaccinated against the flu.
San Francisco Chronicle: A northern Indiana hospital has fired eight employees who refused to get flu shots under a new policy intended to protect patients from the potentially deadly illness.
Religion Clause Blog: West Virginia is one of two states that have no religious exemption from requirements that students obtain immunizations before they can attend school. AP reports that on Thursday, a West Virginia trial court continued a previously issued injunction requiring the Randolph County Board of Education to provide home instruction to high school senior Olivia Hudok who refuses immunizations for religious reasons.
Free to choose but liable for the consequences: should non-vaccinators be penalized for the harm they do? | J. Law Med. Ethics
Caplan AL, Hoke D, Diamond NJ, Karshenboyem V., J Law Med Ethics. 2012 Sep;40(3):606-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2012.00693.x.
Religion Clause Blog: In Caviezel v. Great Neck Public Schools, (2d Cir., Oct. 12, 2012), the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court and rejected parents’ constitutional challenges to New York’s denial to them of a religious exemption from the requirement their children be vaccinated in order to attend public schools.
New Jersey Increases Burdens on Religious Freedom with Vaccination Requirement | Liberty Counsel Action
Liberty Counsel Action: vote is imminently expected in the New Jersey State Senate regarding a
LifeSiteNews: As a Calgary lobby group threatens a lawsuit against the city’s Catholic school district over its opposition to the HPV vaccine, the city’s bishop is questioning their chances.
Deanne Katz at Findlaw: More parents than ever are not vaccinating their children against common childhood diseases, citing both religious and medical reasons. But that choice not to vaccinate could make those parents liable if their unvaccinated child makes someone else sick. This may sound like a remote possibility but there is already a relevant law on the books.
AP: Parents cite a variety of reasons for not immunizing their children, among them: religious values, concerns the shots themselves could cause illness and a belief that allowing children to get sick helps them to build a stronger immune system. Likewise, there’s no single explanation that accounts for why so many more parents who send their children to private schools apparently share a suspicion of immunizations.
Dawn.com: The district coordination officer of Mardan on Thursday ordered the arrest of six people for refusing vaccination of their children against polio and creating obstacles to immunisation of other children.
Religion Clause Blog: According to Tuesday’s Santa Fe New Mexican, the New Mexico Department of Health has changed the form that parents must file to make clear that philosophical, rather than religious, beliefs are not a basis for exemption.
VaccineNewsDaily: Six families in the state of West Virginia are suing the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources, claiming the agency cannot force new vaccine requirements upon schoolchildren.
KJ Dell’Antonia at NY Times: Seeking, and Resisting, Vaccines
Catholic Culture: The Diocese of Calgary is under mounting pressure from Canadian activists to allow immunizations in Catholic schools to guard against a sexually transmitted disease.
AP: An increasing number of parents are choosing to delay certain vaccinations for their young children, a new study shows, even as cases of whooping cough continue to rise nationwide. Portland, Oregon, parents were the subject of the study, which found that they are increasingly following alternative vaccination schedules, says MSNBC.com.
Legal Periodical: Compulsory Vaccination, the Constitution, and the Hepatitis B Mandate for Infants and Young Children
Holland, Mary S., Compulsory Vaccination, the Constitution, and the Hepatitis B Mandate for Infants and Young Children (February 28, 2012). Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics, Vol. 12, No. 1, p. 39, 2012; NYU School of Law, Public …
Pacific Justice Institute: AB 2109 by Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), seeks to rein in parents who object to mandatory vaccines for students. Current law allows parents to opt out by sending a letter to the school, expressing the beliefs that prompted their decision. Assemblyman Pan’s bill would require the creation of a new government form for those parents to complete, and would also require them to get a signature and information from a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant about vaccines and communicable diseases.
Volokh Conspiracy: What happens when divorced parents with joint legal custody disagree about whether their child should be given the routine childhood immunizations? That’s the issue in Grzyb v. Grzyb (Va. Cir. Ct.), decided in mid-2009 but just uploaded to Westlaw a day or two ago.
Queens Chronicle: Nicole Phillips and Fabian Mendoza-Vaca have filed lawsuits claiming that their schools are depriving their children of a free education and discriminating against their religious beliefs.
Religion Clause: Today’s New York Daily News reports that two parents are suing school officials over decisions by two principals to send unvaccinated children home when other students at their schools contracted communicable diseases.
CBC News: The HPV vaccine for young males has been endorsed by a federal panel, but that doesn’t necessarily mean provinces and territories will pick up the tab.
The New American: The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a U.S.-based conservative legal advocacy group, noted that Edholm’s recommendation comes at a time when home school families in Sweden are under severe assault. The ADF, in partnership with another U.S. group, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), has come to the legal aid of a Swedish home school family whose nine-year-old son was abducted by the Swedish government in 2009. According to an ADF press release, Swedish officials “seized the child because they believe home schooling is an inappropriate way to raise a child and insist the government should raise [him] instead, even though home-schooling was legal in Sweden at the time he was taken into custody.
WorldNetDaily: The HSLDA also works with the Alliance Defense Fund to challenge such violations of parental rights. Roger Kiska, a European-based attorney working with the ADF, warned, “Parents have the right and authority to make decisions regarding their children’s education without government interference. Swedish policy on home education is at odds with recognized international legal standards that uphold the right of parents to direct the education of their children. Those standards include the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights documents, all of which recognize that parents have a fundamental right to choose what kind of education their children will receive.”
HSLDA: Roger Kiska is an ADF attorney stationed in Europe who has brought numerous cases before the European Court of Human Rights on family issues, including homeschooling. He says that the European Court of Human Rights has not been particularly supportive of homeschoolers. “The ECHR is giving aid and comfort to Sweden’s repressive home education policies. But ECHR jurisprudence and Swedish, as well as German, policy on home education is at odds with recognized international legal standards that uphold the right of parents to direct the education of their children,” Kiska said. “The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights documents all recognize that parents of children have a fundamental right to choose what kind of education their children will receive. We are committed to working with HSLDA and others to vindicate this right. We will stand with families like the Johanssons and Himmelstrands until we win.”
Sweden Crushing Homeschoolers: Exorbitant Fines as Politicians Call for Gov’t to Seize Home-schooled Children
Christian Newswire: The Home School Legal Defense Association and Alliance Defense Fund and have applied to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of one family whose child was abducted by the government in 2009 and have filed a brief in a Swedish appellate court on behalf of another family fined an amount equivalent to $26,000.
WorldNetDaily: Michael Donnelly, director of international relations at Home School Legal Defense Association, says this decision offers a glimmer of light in the case. “I am hopeful that this is the beginning of the end to the horrific treatment these people have suffered at the hands of Swedish authorities over the past two and a half years,” he said. “The Johansson family have endured unspeakable tyranny over their decision to homeschool their child and then to attempt to leave Sweden. Sweden’s behavior in this case has been shocking.” His organization and representatives of the Alliance Defense Fund are pursuing a case over the custody battle before the European Court of Human Rights
ADF Attorney Benjamin Bull at Townhall : All Domenic Johansson really wants for Christmas is his life back . . . In this season, as so many of us are thinking – as we should – of the children who don’t have toys or a turkey for Christmas, let us also remember those children who long not just for something to eat or play with, but for the freedom to honor the deepest convictions of their souls.
HSLDA : Christer and Annie Johansson have won a small but hopeful victory in their quest to regain custody of their nine-year-old son Domenic who was taken from them over 2 years ago in a dramatic raid while the family was seated on an airliner departing the Nordic country. Ruby Harrold-Claesson, the couple’s attorney, reported to HSLDA that the Gotland District Court ruled in favor of the Johanssons, allowing them to retain their parental rights of Domenic . . . HSLDA continues to work with the Alliance Defense Fund and Harrold-Claesson at the European Court of Human Rights representing the family in their lawsuit against Sweden.
Telegraph: Parents of children who have been struck down with the sleeping syndrome narcolepsy claim that it could have been triggered by the swine flu vaccine.
News from The Associated Press: More parents are opting out of school shots for their kids. In eight states now, more than 1 in 20 public school kindergartners aren’t getting all the vaccines required for attendance, an Associated Press analysis found.
News from The Associated Press: A global vaccines group says it is working to buy shots to protect up to 2 million women and young girls in poor countries from cervical cancer.
Telegraph: ALL children could be vaccinated against flu in the future, the Department of Health has indicated.
Education Week: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear appeals concerning mandated vaccines in public schools and a school district’s refusal to allow a religious group’s fliers to be sent home with students.
Chuck Norris at Townhall: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 110 children have autism spectrum disorders, which is strikingly more than just two decades ago. (ASDs are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause communication, behavioral and social challenges.) The National Autism Association calls the 644 percent increase of ASDs among U.S. children since the early 1990s “a tragic epidemic of autism.”
NCRegister.com: California governor authorized the measure on Oct. 9; children as young as 12 can receive vaccinations and other medications to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, including HPV, without their parents’ notification.
Rebecca Taylor at LifeNews.com: One of the most asked about and difficult ethical issues for Catholic parents to deal with is the issue with vaccination. Many vaccines are created with cell lines that originated from an aborted fetus.
News from The Associated Press: Worries about vaccine safety were common even among parents whose kids were fully vaccinated: 1 in 5 among that group said they think delaying shots is safer than the recommended schedule.
Rebecca Burgoyne at California Family Council: Parents currently have final authority to determine which vaccines their child receives, but it is getting more difficult. California law
News from The Associated Press: Last year’s class of California kindergartners had a record high percentage of parents who used a personal belief exemption to avoid immunization requirements, a development that concerns state health officials.
The Washington Post: Heated debate in the Republican presidential race over child vaccinations also is playing out in California as Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown considers whether to a sign a bill allowing children as young as 12 to get vaccinated against sexually transmitted diseases without their parents’ consent.
DAWN.COM: In an unprecedented move by the authorities concerned to eliminate polio, two persons were arrested and an Afghan national was deported for refusing to vaccinate their children against the crippling ailment.
News from The Associated Press: Four years ago, Gov. Rick Perry put aside his social conservative bona fides and signed an order requiring Texas girls to be vaccinated against the human papilloma virus. He says he was trying to curb cancer. But it didn’t take long for angry conservatives in the Legislature to override a measure they thought tacitly approved premarital sex, and for critics to accuse Perry of cronyism.
OneNewsNow.com: GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann was on the offensive in Monday night’s debate when she suggested rival Rick Perry’s controversial vaccination order in Texas was payback to a campaign contributor.
The Pilot: The California Catholic Conference is urging Californians to call Gov. Jerry Brown Jr. and urge him to veto AB 499, which would allow children 12 and older to be vaccinated against sexually transmitted disease without parental consent or knowledge.
AP: Only about half of the teenage girls in the U.S. have rolled up their sleeves for a controversial vaccine against cervical cancer – a rate well below those for two other vaccinations aimed at adolescents.
Education News: Parents opting out tend to be white and affluent, said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the San Diego County public health officer. Dr. Wooten said she is not surprised the number of personal exemptions is growing. She said parents are weighing fears of allergies and other side effects associated with vaccines, placing more trust in holistic medicine and spacing out shots.
WorldNetDaily: More than 100 children from Malawi’s southern district of Nsanje have been forced at gunpoint to receive measles vaccinations, according to a report from the southern African nation. And the partner in the forced medication program? The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to Natural News.
AP: Muhammad Abdu Zango, Kano state coordinator of Journalists Against Polio, said Tuesday that more than 200 parents refused the vaccine in one district alone.
Religion Clause: Court Rejects Vaccination Exemption Claim: In Caviezel v. Great Neck Public Schools, (ED NY, July 23, 2011), a New York federal district court rejected parents’ claim for a religious exemption under NY Public Health Law Sec. 2164(9) from the requirements for vaccination of their child against certain diseases in order to attend public school.
LifeNews: The UN is about to ask governments to fund the vaccination of every girl in the world against the sexually transmitted disease HPV, human papillomavirus. The controversial campaign could cost as much as $300 per person, totaling billions.
Religion Clause Blog: In Workman v. Mingo County Board of Education, (4th Cir., March 22, 2011), the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld West Virginia’s statute requiring vaccination for various diseases as a condition of attending school.
LifeSiteNews: It turns out that Gardasil’s flat and declining sales are due to a design flaw. To be completely immunized, women and girls have to receive a series of three injections over six months. Many women and girls didn’t do so.