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2/23/2004 5:01:38 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
West Virginia--Calls Needed to Stop Bill Undermining Parent Authority on Immunization

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 23, 2004


West Virginia--Calls Needed to Stop Bill Undermining Parent Authority
on Immunization


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

We need your help immediately to defeat a bill that would strip
parents of their right to not immunize their children.

Currently, if a family is prosecuted for failure to immunize their
children, they may assert that they have a "sufficient reason". Some
families might believe their religious convictions are a sufficient
reason; others might think danger to their children's health is a
sufficient reason.

Senate Bill 439 abolishes "sufficient reason" as a defense. It thus
erodes the right of parents to do what is best for their children.
The full Senate could vote on the bill soon-possibly as early as
Wednesday, February 25.


Action Requested

Please call your state senator immediately and give him a message
such as:

"Please vote against Senate Bill 439. It would force immunization
despite good reason to not immunize. 48 other states have laws that
recognize that some parents have compelling reasons to not want their
children immunized. This bill violates a parent's right to make
reasonable health care choices for their children."

This bill affects all parents, regardless of how they choose to
educate their children. It is not necessary, therefore, for you to
identify yourself as a homeschool family when you call.

Contact Information

Call the Senate Clerk's Office at (304) 357-7800 and ask to be
transferred to your senator.

To learn the name of your senator, use HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox
at: http://capwiz.com/hslda/home/ .


Background

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid
out over $1.3 billion in damages to families for injuries and deaths
following vaccine reactions.

Every year the Food and Drug Administration receives 12,000-14,000
reports to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System of
hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following vaccination. This
figure does not include the estimated one to ten percent of vaccine
injuries that are not reported.

Some parents have strong religious convictions against vaccinating
their children.

According to Centers for Disease Control surveys, states allowing for
conscientious choice exemptions do not have higher rates of vaccine-
preventable illnesses.

Courts have not yet had the opportunity to rule on what reasons for
not immunizing would be "sufficient." In 48 other states, religious
or philosophical reasons are sufficient.

For more information on immunizations, see our memorandum at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1343

Thank you for standing with us to protect freedom!


Sincerely,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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