A federal judge has ruled that California’s interest in protecting the health of its citizens takes precedence over the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion.
“Even outside the context of vaccination laws, the Supreme Court has reiterated the fundamental rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution do not overcome the State’s interest in protecting a child’s health,” the judge wrote in his decision.
Difficult for me to control my frustration. Apparently, he should clarify that this applies only in some circumstances.
Apparently the state has met strict scrutiny in their application of vaccination law. I applaud the court’s decision in this matter. If you want to attend public school, you vaccinate your kids for the safety of all children (which is long established as a compelling interest).
If the safety of your kids is not that important to you, you are welcome to home school.
I think the bigger problem is the precedent it sets. What other rolls will the government take away from the parents? If we have universal health care in our country (which I’m sure will happen eventually) then you will not be applauding your lost rights as to what medical procedures your tax dollars go towards, or patients getting denied medical care because people refuse vaccinations with aborted fetuses in them.
Difference is, the government would have to meet strict scrutiny in those cases, which is very hard. The government would have to have a narrowly tailored compelling reason to limit care, etc… Which is almost impossible to meet. This instance of school vaccination was one of those very limited and very narrow exceptions that met that standard. So I wouldn’t worry about this setting some precedent that will be expanded.
Can children with egg allergies opt out?
If I’m remembering the law correctly there are exceptions for medical conditions. Which is part of why this law is so important as the herd immunity protects those medically unable to obtain vaccinations. Though I believe severe egg allergies would only limit admission of the Flu vaccine (which I’m not sure is required by this law), and in VERY rare instances MMR. And MMR can be administered safely to even most with egg allergies.
Here is an authoritative article on egg allergies. It says that MMR vaccines can be safely administered to those with egg allergies. The flu vaccine does contain a small amount of egg protein, and I assume the existing medical exemptions remain in place, since this court ruling only addresses religious exemptions. (@Padres1969: Didn’t see your post as I was composing mine. Sorry to duplicate info.)
I have mixed feelings.
On the one hand, I am pleased, because it is irresponsible for parents to ignore the well-established, safe, and life-saving science that is vaccines, especially when they are sending their kids into public school, where they will interact with many people.
On the other hand, I am a bit disturbed about the precedent it sets. Religious freedom is important. However ridiculous a requirement one person’s religion may put on him (such as not using vaccines, or not using technology), the fact that that person is protected by law to practice his religion is a protection to all other, reasonable religions.
Well to be fair their religious freedom is not being impinged. They can still refuse to vaccinate if that’s their religious based desire. They just can’t send their kids to public school if they’re refusing to vaccinate for the safety of the rest of society from their un-vaccinated kids. And the way this law was written is narrowly tailored to protect the majority of society’s children which is a very compelling interest of society. As mentioned it’s not really precedent setting in that it’s designed to narrowly protect a very limited compelling governmental and societal interest. It really wouldn’t be able to be extended to anything other than vaccinations lest it have to survive a strict scrutiny review of its own.