A fight has erupted over a decision by bureaucrats in Colorado to go, according to critics, well beyond what the law allows and threaten parents of homeschoolers seeking exemptions from state vaccinations requirements for their children.
There was a plan before the legislature earlier this year that would have demanded homeschool parents sign forms stating things like, “My child/I may be at increased risk of developing …” and “Failure to follow the advice of a physician … who has recommended vaccines may endanger my child’s/my health or life and others who come into contact with my child/me.”
Officials with the Home School Legal Defense Association said they helped defeat the “attempts to invade families’ privacy.”
The proposal didn’t give parents the option – it simply demanded they make that particular political statement.
But, the HSLDA explains, demanding that parents “affirm that by exempting their child from immunizations they are endangering the life and health of that child … is at odds with some parents’ personal and/or religion beliefs.”
“By forcing parents to make this statement, the state of Colorado is unconstitutionally compelling speech.”
The issue now is that although lawmakers rejected the idea, “overzealous state officials are back at it – this time with an unconstitutional form which may force parents to violate their conscience in order to obtain immunization exemptions for their children.”
A new report explained the form was created in June by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment and “is mandatory for anyone seeking a non-medical exemption from state immunization requirements. Persons who sign the form in order to obtain an exemption are required to affirm a number of statements which may go against their personal and religious beliefs,” HSLDA reported.
The HSLDA has protested to the state agency by letter, and already has collected nearly 12,000 names on a petition to Gov. John Hickenlooper asking him to have the forms modified.
“Requiring a person to affirm a viewpoint which violates his religious or personal beliefs in a violation of the United States Constitution,” the petition informs the state. “The Supreme Court has clearly established that ‘just as the First Amendment may prevent the government from prohibiting speech, [it] may prevent the government from compelling individuals to express certain views.'”
Explained HSLDA about Colorado’s plan, “The mandatory forms require that parents affirm that by exempting their child from immunizations they are endangering the life and health of that child.
“By signing such a statement, a person may be making an admission (whether or not it is true or he actually agrees with it) that could be used against him in a later civil or criminal proceeding.”
The HSLDA notes the issue is being fought right now in Colorado, but state borders aren’t likely to hold back such an idea.
“Are you a parent? This issue should concern you – whether you live in Colorado or anywhere else in the United States. If these burdensome regulations are accepted in Coloorado, it won’t be long until laws like this spread across the United States.”
The organization doesn’t necessarily advocate for or against vaccinations, but believes, “whether to immunize a child is a medical decision that HSLDA believes is best made by fully informed parents in accordance with the law and without undue interference or burdens imposed by the state.”
Further, the state law only allows officials to have a “statement of exemption” for homeschool families.
The organization suggests if the state isn’t willing to retreat to what is constitution, litigation is unavoidable.
“HSLDA suggests that parents (or others) who have an objection to using the CDPHE form continue to use the same signed statement they always have for their respective exemption,” said HSLDA spokesman Mike Donnelly. “Although CDPHE considers its form mandatory, HSLDA is willing to defend those whose conscience is violated by the form.”
The giants of the medical industry and its government supporters insist that vaccines are necessary, with only the tiniest fraction of a percentage of cases developing complications. But WND columnist Barry Farber wrote that there is evidence of a connection to autism.
Citing the new movie “Vaxxed: From Coverup to Catastrophe,” he said it’s “incontrovertible” that in the 1950s autism was almost unknown.
“There was a clinic in California with maybe half-a-dozen cases. Then along came one case of autism for every ten thousand children who’d undergone the MMR vaccine. Then came one such case out of every 250. The latest figure is one out of 50!”
Farber said “the proud defenders of Big Pharma and the CDC still refuse to yield a centimeter.”
“And that’s what interests so many of us non-doctors and non-scientists. There’s the pungent fragrance of ‘body-panic’ as more and more anguished parents and alarmed Americans ask what’s going on here,” he said.
“The CDC’s cooking of the books has befouled the air thousands of kitchens away. Dr. Andrew Wakefield, distinguished research gastroenterologist, had his license revoked for the high crime of suggesting the MMR vaccine needed more study! CDC internal whistleblower Dr. William Thompson has more and more frightened onlookers hopeful that truth will prevail. The MMR loyalists, however, defend it like the fanatical war-time Japanese defended their Emperor Hirohito. The cause of this skyrocketing surge in autism, Big Pharma and the CDC assure us, ‘cannot be vaccinations, must not be vaccinations, will not be vaccinations!'”
Amid the growing alarm about vaccines, governments are adopting new techniques to pressure parents into allowing the injections on their children, and one of the newest, in Michigan, has prompted a lawsuit.
The Michigan policy, said Kate Oliveri, a lawyer for the Thomas More Law Center, allows government employees to take on the role of priests and pastors, molding religious beliefs to further the state’s agenda.”
“This is antithetical to the religious protections found in the Federal and Michigan constitutions and the religious protections enacted by the Michigan legislature,” she said.
The organization has filed a lawsuit against the state and county “seeking to stop a state-sponsored religious inquisition of parents who have religious objections to state vaccination requirements.”
The suit comes on behalf of Tara Nikolao, a Catholic registered nurse and mother of four.
She objects to vaccines made with cells of aborted infants and other vaccines on religious grounds.
However, the complaint contends, government employees are violating the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses of the First Amendment, the religious protections in the Michigan Constitution and Michigan law by grilling her about her faith and then telling her what she’s supposed to believe.
The complaint is against Nick Lyon as head of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Wayne County agency, county health chief Mouhanad Hammami and various other county officials.
It challenges a rule that “allows state employees to withhold public schooling unless parents submit to a religious inquisition on the substance and logic of their beliefs and endure false and misleading state sponsored religious instruction about their beliefs.”
A religious waiver from vaccination requirements previously was available on the statement of the parent, but the state implemented the new rule that requires parents “to travel to a county health department and speak with a local health department employee” to receive that waiver.
As part of that “inquisition,” the state provided a “fact sheet” about various religious beliefs that employees are instructed to use to argue with the parents about what they are supposed to believe.
For example, it warns, “Objection to vaccine for religious reasons may be masking the parent’s or guardian’s real question regarding safety, which is not a true religious objection.”
It also argues for the benefits of vaccinations without mentioning the possible fatal side effects. And it specifically lists arguments to use against Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Christian Science and Christian objections.
“In Mrs. Nikolao’s case, health department employees used the MDHHS Religion document, which falsely attributes a quote to Pope Benedict XVI, in an attempt to coerce her into violating her beliefs by vaccinating her children. The documents claims that, according to Pope Benedict XVI, ‘parents who chose not to give vaccines derived from [aborted fetal] cells would be in ‘more proximate cooperation with evil’ than those who gave their children the vaccines in question because of the life-saving nature of vaccines,'” the Thomas More Law Center explained.
However, it said Pope Benedict never made such a statement.
“‘Moral Reflections,’ the Vatican document produced on vaccines containing the cells of aborted children by the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, also did not contain any condemnation of parents who refuse to vaccinate, especially not the MDHHS characterization of parents who do not vaccinate their children as ‘evil.'”
The law center said that when Mrs. Nikolao “explained that she had a religious objection to vaccines, the health department employees demanded that Mrs. Nikolao explain her actual reason for objecting.”
“Despite Mrs. Nikolao’s repeated insistence in the face of berating questions from state employees that her personal religious beliefs did not allow her to vaccinate her children – a belief that the Michigan legislature enacted a statute to protect – the health department employees would not accept her religious objection and insisted that no religions object to vaccines.”