Maryland SB 378 Threatens Children, Parental Rights

We need your help today to halt a dangerous bill that threatens the health of children and the fundamental right of parents to make decisions for them.

Maryland Senate Bill 387, introduced by Senator Kagan and assigned to the Finance Committee, would essentially do away with any age of consent for vaccination, depending solely on the opinion of a health care provider.

Ostensibly, the bill lowers the age of vaccination consent to 14 years, which is bad enough. Allowing a 14-year-old to consent without a parent’s knowledge, input, or support will open the door for peer pressure and coercion, rather than wisdom, caution, and knowledge of one’s family medical history, to drive children’s health decisions.

But, the bill also provides that “a minor under the age of 14 years…has the capacity to consent to vaccination if…in the opinion of the health care provider, the minor is of sufficient intelligence to understand and appreciate the need for, nature of, and the significant risks and  consequences of the vaccination; and the minor is able to give informed consent” (emphasis added).

Apparently, Senator Kagan is not familiar with Booth and Mazer, et al, v Bowser, the case we argued (and won) last year that threw out DC’s Minor Consent for Vaccinations Act Amendment of 2020 which tried to do this very same thing. The court sided with our clients because DC’s statute violated federal law and the fundamental rights of parents.

This Maryland bill makes the very same fatal mistakes and must therefore be voted down.

Take Action Now

Please take a moment today to contact your Maryland state senator and urge them to vote “No” to SB 378, that violates federal law and constitutional parental rights. You can find your lawmaker’s contact information here.

Your message can be as simple as the following, preferably in your own words:

SB 378 is a bad idea for children. It would violate federal laws designed to protect children from coercion, and it would violate a parent’s constitutionally protected right to make decisions with and for their child for the child’s best interests. Cutting parents out of a minor’s healthcare is always a bad decision, and in this case we already know the law cannot survive a court challenge. Please protect our children by voting “no” on this terribly unwise legislation.

Regardless of where one stands on vaccines, removing parents from major decisions in a child’s life is certain to have negative consequences. The Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the vital role that parents play in making these decisions which children, by virtue of simply being children, are not yet ready to make.

S.B. 378 treats children as adults. A minor child may not know his or her medical history. A minor child may consent to an immunization, and then suffer an adverse reaction, and a parent who does not know that the child was immunized may miss warning signs and be unable to get the child to the hospital in time. A parent who does not know that their child received an immunization at school may have their family pediatrician administer the same immunization, resulting in potential harm due to multiple and unnecessary doses.

Thank you for standing with us to protect all Maryland children by halting this very dangerous bill.


Will Estrada