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2/18/2011 12:35:20 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
West Virginia: URGENT--Immunization Freedom Bill--Contact Senator Unger Today

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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West Virginia: URGENT--Immunization
Freedom Bill--Contact Senator Unger Today

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends in Senator Unger's District:

West Virginia is one of two states that do not permit parents to
exempt their children from immunizations for religious, conscientious
or philosophical reasons. Senate Bill 522 would bring West Virginia
into line with the rest of the country by providing a simple and clear
exception from immunization requirements for parents who object
because of "religious, conscientious or philosophical beliefs." SB
522 has been referred to the Health and Human Resources Committee.
However, Senator John Unger, who is the Senate majority leader, has
questioned whether this reform is needed. He needs to hear from his
constituents so that this positive legislation can be kept moving.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please contact Senate Majority Leader John Unger by phone, email and
in person if possible, and urge him to support SB 522. Because this
issue affects all parents, you do not need to identify yourself as a
homeschooler. Feel free to use the following message as a guide, but
be sure to personalize it by using your own words.

"Please support Senate Bill 522. As a parent I feel that it is
important that I be protected in my religious, conscientious, and
philosophical objections to immunizations. No one should be forced by
the state to immunize their children against their sincere beliefs.
Our state is one of only two states in the nation without such a law.
It's time for West Virginia to join the rest of the nation and
recognize that immunizing a child is a decision that should be left up
to parents. SB 522 gives parents this choice. Please do what you can
to move this bill forward! Thank you!"

Senator John Unger II - Senate Majority Leader
Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7933
Business Phone: (304) 357-7933
E-mail: john.unger@wvsenate.gov

BACKGROUND

Vaccines can sometimes cause permanent injury and death. The National
Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid out over 1.3
billion dollars in damages to families for injuries and deaths
following a vaccine reaction.

Every year the Food and Drug Administration receives 12,000-14,000
reports to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) of
hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following vaccination. This
figure does not include the estimated 1 to 10 percent of vaccine
injuries that are not reported.

Immunizations should not be mandated, since many parents have strong
religious convictions or philosophical reasons against vaccinating
their children. Because of the research and case studies demonstrating
the risks of vaccination, many parents sincerely believe that such
vaccines would harm their children. This bill will let parents choose.

As a result of these religious convictions and others, 48 state
legislatures have appropriately provided religious or
conscientious/philosophical exemptions for parents with similar
beliefs. Seventeen states allow for conscientious parental choice
exemptions: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine,
Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah,
Vermont, Washington, Texas 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 Centers for Disease Control surveys, states allowing for
conscientious choice exemptions do not have higher rates of
vaccine-preventable illnesses.

For more information on immunizations, see our memorandum at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10379 .


Thank you for your effort to extend freedom in West Virginia!

Very truly yours,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
Staff Attorney

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-> How many of your friends would pay your legal fees?

As a member of HSLDA, you have 80,000 families standing with you
to protect and advance homeschool freedoms in the United States
and foreign countries.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1106

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