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West Virginia

May 9, 2007

Senate Bill 91: Religious Exemption from Mandatory Immunizations

Sponsor:
Foster

Summary:
Currently, West Virginia only allows exemptions from mandatory immunizations for medical reasons. This bill would provide a way for parents to exempt their children from immunizations for reasons of religious or conscientious belief.

Status:

1/15/2007(Senate) Referred to Senate Committee on Health and Human Resources
4/15/2007West Virginia legislative session ends with bill failing to pass; the bill is now dead.

HSLDA's Position:
Support!

Action Requested:
No further action is required, as the bill is dead.

Background:
Forty-eight states provide for religious or conscientious/philosophical exemptions for parents who choose not to immunize their children. Seventeen states allow for conscientious parental choice exemptions: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin. Only Mississippi and West Virginia have no religious or philosophical exemptions. However, Mississippi does allow an automatic exemption for homeschool students. According to surveys conducted by Centers for Disease Control, states allowing for conscientious choice exemptions do not have higher rates of vaccine preventable illnesses.

For more information on immunizations and parental rights, please see our issue analysis page, “Immunizations: A Parent’s Choice.”.

 Other Resources

Bill Text