Date:  
From:  
Subject:  
3/28/01 6:18:26 PM
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq., Staff Attorney of HSLDA
Maine--Parents' Rights Concerning Vaccinations Jeopardized

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From the HSLDA@Capitol Hill E-lert Service...
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March 28, 2001

Parents' Rights Concerning Vaccinations Jeopardized

HEARING TOMORROW: IMMUNIZATION EXEMPTIONS AT RISK

CALLS NEEDED

Dear Maine HSLDA members and Friends,

Tomorrow at 1:00 PM in the Cross State Office Building in Augusta,
Maine, the Educational and Cultural Affairs Committee will hold a
hearing on Legislative Document (L.D.) 1563. Current law requires
students who attend public and private school to be immunized unless
the parents have religious, moral, philosophical, or personal
objections or a doctor states that an immunization is medically
inadvisable.

L.D. 1563 would strip away all except religious and medical
exemptions and allow an administrative agency to dictate the diseases
against which immunizations all children in the state must receive.
This bill would significantly affect home school families who teach
their children at home as part of a non-approved private school, but
would not directly affect those who operate under Code of Maine Rules
Chapter 130.

Home School Legal Defense Association encourages ALL Maine home
schoolers to oppose this bill-when the rights of some citizens are
reduced, the rights of all are in danger.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please immediately call Educational and Cultural Affairs Committee
members (see list at end of this e-lert) with a message such as,
"Please vote against L.D. 1563, the bill that would strip away three
immunization exemptions. Preventive health care should be trusted to
the judgment of parents."

REASONS TO OPPOSE L.D. 1563

Parents should be allowed to make decisions concerning preventive
health care. There is tremendous controversy over the impact of
immunizations. While there is considerable evidence immunizations
have prevented outbreaks of harmful or fatal diseases, there is
growing concern about short- and long-term side effects. Parents
have a right to direct the provision of health care to their
children. The state should not override the decisions of parents,
especially in the area of preventive care, where many different
approaches are respected.

Some parents are convinced, based on research they have done, that it
would be better for their children not to be immunized. Whether or
not we agree with their conclusion, their right to make this decision
should be protected. Current law respects this parental decision in
that it allows an exemption for moral, philosophical, or personal
reasons. L.D. 1563 would compel immunization of home school children
who are part of a non-approved private school despite parental
conviction against immunizations that it would not be wise.

Current law specifies the diseases for which immunizations are
required. These requirements can only be changed by an act of the
legislature, which provides ample opportunity for the will of the
people to be heard. However, L.D. 1563 would give an administrative
agency power to issue rules to determine the diseases against which
to immunize Maine children. Run by unelected bureaucrats who feel no
sense of accountability to voters, a]dministrative agencies have a
track record of ignoring the will of the people. Parental choice will
be severely eroded if L.D. 1563 passes.


COMMITTEE MEMBERS TO CALL:

Senator Betty Lou Mitchell, Chair - Etna --- 279-2071
Senator John Nutting - Leeds --- 524-3941
Rep. James Skoglund - St. George --- 372-8893
Rep. Vaughn Stedman --- 938-4890
Senator Margaret Rotundo - Lewiston --- 784-3529
Rep. Shirley Richard, Chair - Madison --- 696-3049
Rep. Mabel Desmond - Mapleton --- 764-1011
Rep. Elizabeth Watson - Farmingdale --- 582-7047
Rep. Stephen Estes - Kittery --- 439-3479
Rep. Glen Cummings - Portland --- 775-2560
Rep. Mary Black Andrews - York --- 363-414
Rep. Mary Ellen Ledwin - Holden --- 989-4627
Rep. Donald Soctomah - Princeton --- 372-8893

Or you can leave a message at (800) 423-2900.

If you do not know who your senator is, you can call (207) 287-1692
or (800) 301-3178, or go to HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox.

Thank you for standing with us for parental rights in Maine.

Sincerely,

Scott Woodruff
Staff Attorney

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Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
540-338-5600
www.hslda.org
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 Other Resources

More information on Maine's Senate Bill 129