LD 798, a bill that threatens children and parental rights, is scheduled for a hearing next week. The measure comes before Maine’s Joint Standing Committee on Educational and Cultural Affairs on Wednesday, March 13, at 1:00 pm in Room 208 of the Cross Building in Augusta.
LD 798 would remove the right of parents to opt their child out of immunizations on the basis of a philosophical or religious belief exemption, dangerously shifting the power to make major medical decisions for a child from the parents to the state.
In its 1979 Parham v. J.R. decision, the Supreme Court declared, “Simply because the decision of a parent…involves risks does not automatically transfer the power to make that decision from the parents to some agency or officer of the state.”
LD 798 in Maine would trample parental rights and turn that Court decision on its head.
While ParentalRights.org does not have a position on the safety or efficacy of vaccines, we are adamant in our support of the right of parents to make informed medical decisions for their children.
We and our allies at Homeschoolers of Maine (HOME) are encouraging concerned parents to show up on March 13 to attend the hearing. You will not be called on or have to testify, but your presence alone will demonstrate to lawmakers that parents are watching this vote closely.
Bear in mind if you are able to attend that many cannot due to work or other obligations, making it all the more important for you to be there. You can stand on behalf of those of us who cannot—and on behalf of the children this bill would affect.
If you are among those unable to attend, please take a moment to email the members of the committee and urge them to vote “No” on this bill. You can find their contact information at legislature.maine.gov/committee/#Committees/EDU.
Vaccines themselves are a controversial issue, but the natural and inalienable right of parents to make decisions that children are not yet capable of making for themselves should not be.
Thank you for taking the time to stand up for children and for parental rights.