West Virginia Rally for Philosophical Vaccine Exemptions
RALLY FOR PARENTAL RIGHTS
Wednesday February 22 @ 10am
WV State Capitol Steps
HUNDREDS WILL GATHER ON THE CAPITAL STEPS TO DEMAND END TO FORCED VACCINATION
The New England Journal of Medicine supports non-medical exemptions. Why does WV have to stand outside of these recommendations and the rest of the country?
On Wednesday, February 22 at 10am on the steps of the West Virginia State Capital, families, military members, health care professionals, and legal experts will gather to affirm that vaccination choice is a fundamental human and civil right. They will demand that Senate Bill 50 (introduced by Senators Boley and Nohe) be passed swiftly, providing families with the same type of non-medical immunization exemption 48 other states enjoy and realigning West Virginia with the rest of the country regarding compulsory immunization for school entrance.
The “Rally for Parental Rights” is a free, public rally coordinated by a grassroots effort called We the Parents that will raise awareness of the legal, medical, and ethical implications of compulsory medical interventions. Parents will share their stories of tragedy, harassment, and discuss how current law impacts and decreases their family’s quality of life. Keynote speakers include representatives from VaxTruth.org, ACLU- WV, and Center for Personal Rights, as well as Patricia Finn, Attorney, PC, parents, families, and military members.
“This is an opportunity for parents to have a voice,“ says Lori Lee, an organizer and parent of two healthy, non-vaccinated children in Jackson County. “Our state government, our legislature is not listening. Concerned parents have been ignored by their own Senators. Senate Bill 50 is stalled in the Senate Education Committee, while many Senators ignore phone calls, faxes, letters, and pleas from their constituents. This is our chance to be heard.” Each day, the Lees drive their children across the border where they are schooled in Ohio. Ohio, is one of the 48 states in the US which provides non-medical exemptions for parents regarding immunizations for school entrance. Ohio offers medical, religious and philosophical exemptions and maintains a higher percentage of children immunized than West Virginia. In fact, based on 2010 data from the Center for Disease Control, 26 additional states which provide simple non-medical exemptions remain at or above West Virginia’s immunization rate (2010 3DTaP % per CDC).
“Current code substantially burdens the free exercise of religion as is protected by the 1st Amendment and is in opposition of the 9th Amendment which guarantees fundamental rights,” says Patricia Finn, Attorney, PC whose law office focuses on clients’ 1st Amendment Rights. A group of parents in West Virginia is working to ensure these rights are given back. Ms. Finn is one of the keynote speakers at the rally.
West Virginia Code (§16-3-4) mandates compulsory immunization, prohibiting parents who object to some or all vaccines from sending their children to public or private schools in the state. It is important to note that this code was introduced in 1931, when only three vaccines were in use (diphtheria, pertussis, and tuberculosis) as opposed to the 14 vaccinations now required for school entry (Four doses of DTaP, 3 doses of Polio, 2 doses MMR, 2 doses chicken pox, 3 doses hepatitis B).
Senate Bill 50 enjoys the support of the community, much of the West Virginia Legislature, and many large groups such as the ACLU-WV, Canary Party, Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), VaxTruth, Center for Personal Rights, and National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). However, if Senator Plymale, Senate Education Chair, refuses to put the bill on the committee’s agenda in the coming week, it will die in committee. To date, he is unresponsive.
In a letter to the West Virginia Senate Education Committee, where the bill is currently awaiting placement on the committee agenda, Jane M. Orient, MD of the AAPS wrote, “We believe that patients, or in the case of children, their parents or guardians, have the right to make their own medical decisions. According to the Nuremberg Code, patients may not be forced to participate in experiments without their fully informed consent.” She further states, “We note that many other states permit non-medical exemptions like that in Senate Bill 50, and no serious public health consequences have been demonstrated. Adverse reactions to vaccines may be serious, permanently disabling, or even fatal in some individuals.”
USA Today, The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, Herald-Dispatch, Intelligencer: Wheeling News Register, and WTRF have all reported on the debate whirling around flawed public policy and parental rights. We the Parents is fighting for their rights and for their children, and that passion is not easily quelled. They are demanding that the State of West Virginia bring its code in line with the rest of the United States and restore their Constitutional freedoms.
Sign the online petition and help us reach 1000 signatures by Wednesday!
“The right to choose what is injected into your child’s body is a decision that should made with due diligence by the parents of a child, as the one-size-fits-all approach to vaccination doesn’t look at at the immune response by certain individuals and take into account personal and family medical history.
My own son was given a vaccination for school which was described to me as harmless and having no side effects and no possibility of a reaction, who then collapsed in my arms while coming home from the doctor’s office. I frantically turned around and rushed him to the hospital where he, thank God, was revived and stabilized.
I thought I had lost my son forever. I was then told he never could have these vaccinations the rest of his life. Quite a turn around from the day before when told there were never any complications from these inoculations. In most states citizens currently have the legal right to opt out of using vaccines, West Virginia should be no different!”
— WV State Senator David C. Nohe