Sweeney, O’Scanlon gunning for your parental, religious rights (Opinion)
Regular New Jersey families descended upon the State Capitol on the last day of the lame-duck session and helped crush an attempt by the Democratic majority to usurp parental rights. The bill that would have eliminated the religious exemption for vaccines fell apart as cowardly Steve Sweeney, the Senate President, and political pawn of millionaire George Norcross, pulled the bill knowing he failed to generate enough votes for passage.
The battle exposed some real moral bankruptcy in the legislature, from Sweeney's bullying tactics with fellow legislators to Republicans like Declan O'Scanlon so desperate to 'belong' with the party in power that he'd sell out his own caucus. Declan has spent the better part of the past few weeks arguing with constituents on social media over the efficacy of vaccines. This despite the fact that the argument was NEVER about vaccines for those of us who are very much in favor of vaccine mandates.
Mandates are good and can help lead to a healthier public. That said, the removal of the one option parents of vaccine injured kids have to protect their other children is wrong and it's a lie to act as if this tiny fraction of the population poses a threat to your kids. MOST states in America offer parents a choice, a real choice as to whether they want to take the risk associated with vaccines.
A variety of vaccine exemptions are allowed, depending on state and local regulations. California, Mississippi, New York, and West Virginia offer only medical exemptions to vaccination, although New Jersey and a handful of other states are currently considering legislation to end religious or philosophical exemptions to mandatory vaccinations. Most other states allow vaccine exemptions for religious, philosophical, or personal beliefs, in addition to medical exemptions. - FindLaw Legal Writers/Editors
And yes, as a pro-VAX parent, it's OK to embrace the facts that there are actually some risks posed to some kids when it comes to receiving a vaccination.
I've been writing about this since the battle began. And it's maddening to encounter people who refuse to accept that there are risks or worse, dismiss those parents who have suffered greatly. Do you think the federal government would have protected Big Pharma from liability if there were NO risks?
It's also interesting to note that despite all the claims from the proponents of eliminating the religious exemption and putting government in between parents, kids and doctors, they fail to recognize the facts about the healthiest states in America. Did you know that the top five healthiest states in the US all have a religious exemption from vaccines? That's right, Hawaii, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts and Utah all offer parents an opt-out for religious reasons.
So why now? Why the spreading of misinformation on the part of Sweeney and his cohorts? Seems there must be some kind of money involved. Big Pharma, George Norcross, I don't know, but something smells when politicians dig in to fight something that makes no sense.
Maybe it's just a simple fact that Sweeney hates to lose and hates it worse when "We The People" smack him down. The bottom line is that he's coming for your rights again.
The bill is among hundreds of bills submitted to the new legislature for this current session. So stay strong and keep the faith and the fight. As long as Sweeney is in power, we will have to fight every day.
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
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