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2/27/2004 5:03:29 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Urgent-Calls Needed Monday-Committee To Vote on Harmful Immunization Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 27, 2004


Urgent-Calls Needed Monday-Committee To Vote on Harmful Immunization
Bill


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

A bill that would force children to be injected with vaccines
manufactured using cells cultured from aborted babies-and making it
almost impossible to receive a medical exemption-- passed the West
Virginia Senate Wednesday.

SB 439's sham religious exemption is worthless. It is
unconstitutional because it discriminates against certain kinds of
religions. It will be struck down. It provides no protection for
those profoundly opposed to such vaccines, but not for religious
reasons. The bill undercuts historic parents' rights by declaring
that the state has a "compelling interest" in protecting children's
health, but fails to acknowledge a parent's fundamental right to
direct their children's health care.

The bill strips away the right of a parent to defend themselves based
on "sufficient reason." It then increases the penalty for violation
by ten-fold.

We expect the House of Delegates Health and Human Resources Committee
to vote on the bill Wednesday, March 3, but a subcommittee may vote
as early as Monday. Christian Home Educators of West Virginia and
other organizations are working together with HSLDA to defeat this
bill unless its glaring problems are solved.


Action Requested:

1. If one of the delegates below represents your district, call him
or her on Monday and ask them to oppose the bill. Your message may
be as simple as,

"Please oppose SB 439. It forces my children to be immunized with
vaccines made using cells cultured from the bodies of aborted babies.
It makes it almost impossible for my own doctor to give my children a
medical exemption. The bill's religious exemption favors one kind of
religion over another and will be struck down as unconstitutional. It
does not protect families who deeply oppose such vaccinations, but
not on religious grounds. It elevates the state's power over
citizens without acknowledging our fundamental rights."

Since this bill affects all parents, it is not necessary to identify
your self as a homeschooler.

Health and Human Resources Committee Members:

Chairman: Don Perdue - 304-340-3269

Vice Chairman: Barbara Hatfield - 304-340-3140

Minority Chair Health and Human Resources: Bob Ashley - 304-340-3185
Bonnie Brown - 304- 340-3178
Mitch Carmichael - 304- 340-3115
Joe DeLong - 304- 340-3287
Barbara Evans Fleischauer - 304- 340-3169
Dan Foster - 304- 340-3135
Eustace Frederick - 304- 340-3164
Mike Hall - 304- 340-3145
Greg Howard - 304- 340-3121
Lidella Wilson Hrutkay - 304- 340-3156
Richard J. Iaquinta - 304- 340-3129
Margarette Leach - 304- 340-3395
Virginia Mahan - 304- 340-3106
Brady Paxton - 304- 340-3199
Robert A. Schadler - 304- 340-3191
Kelli Sobonya - 304- 340-3175
Sharon Spencer - 304- 340-3270
Linda Sumner - 304- 340-3180
Sally Matz Susman - 304- 340-3187
Christopher Wakim - 304- 340-3177
Barbara Bobbie Warner - 304- 340-3134
Carrie Webster - 304- 340-3184
Jack Yost - 304- 340-3350


Go to http://www.hslda.org/toolbox to find the name of your delegate.

2. Call other families and pass this on.


Reasons to Oppose SB 439

1. SB 439 forces immunization for chicken pox. The vaccine is made
using cells cultured from an aborted baby. When your child is
vaccinated, DNA from the aborted baby enters your child's
bloodstream. Many parents strongly object-some for religious
reasons, others for reasons not related to religion. Both groups of
parents must be protected. The bill must allow parents to refuse
based on religious or moral grounds. (Rubella vaccine, already
required, is also made using cells cultured from the bodies of an
aborted baby.)

2. Under current law, any reputable physician can give your child a
medical exemption. SB 439 would make this almost impossible. It
allows a medical exemption only when it fits with "commonly accepted
medical practice." If your family doctor believes your child should
be medically exempted, but other doctors disagree, your child would
be denied the exemption. One size does not fit all in medical care.

3. Under current law, parents can defend themselves by claiming they
have a sufficient reason to refuse immunization. SB 439 strips
parents of that right.

4. The bill erodes vital parental rights by declaring that the state
has a "compelling" interest in "protecting" the health of citizens,
"especially children", but fails to recognize that parents have a
fundamental right to direct the health care of their children.

5. After diminishing parents' rights, it then increases by ten times
the fine for failure to submit.

6. The bill has a bizarre religious exemption that is clearly
unconstitutional. It only allows an exemption for parents who have a
"member of the clergy or religious representative" vouch for their
religious beliefs. Parents whose religion does not acknowledge
clergy or "religious representatives" are frozen out. The Supreme
Court ruled that this type of discrimination is unconstitutional.
See Frazee v. Illinois Department of Employment Security. On July
25, 2002, a religious exemption was struck down in Arkansas for
similar reasons.

7. Some have argued that homeschool families are not required to
immunize. However, the law says: "ANY PARENT or guardian who refuses
to permit his or her child to be immunized, and is not exempted from
immunization ... shall be guilty of a misdemeanor..." It is easy to
foresee a judge with an agenda taking this language and forcing
vaccinations on homeschool families, although this is clearly not the
intent of the legislature.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!


Sincerely,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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