A bill that would enable children as young as 11 years old in the District of Columbia to receive vaccinations without parental consent is advancing after passing through the district council on Tuesday.
According to the Washington Post, the bill passed by a 12-1 vote.
As we reported earlier this year, the bill would make children deemed capable of informed consent able to seek government-recommended vaccinations that their parents may object to.
As originally proposed by council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), the bill would have applied to children of any age, but the health committee revised it and limited it to children 11 and up.
The legislation would add vaccines to the list of medical services that children in D.C. can already access by law without parental consent, including substance abuse and mental health counseling and birth control.
The bill also requires that the child’s doctor send the vaccination record in such cases to the child’s school, rather than to their parents, and seek compensation directly from the insurance company without involving the parents.
Proponents of the bill have pointed to the coronavirus epidemic and the release of a highly-anticipated vaccine as a source of new urgency to pass the bill.
“One thing that we’ve learned from covid, for example, is that policymakers, lawmakers, need to make science-driven decisions about public-health policy,” said council member Vincent C. Gray (D-Ward 7) at a breakfast for council members before the legislative meeting Tuesday.
Only one councilmember, Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8), voted against the bill, arguing that children are too young to fully grasp decisions about their medical care.
“Parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education and care of their children,” White said.
“Medical professionals and schools should not be permitted to coerce impressionable minors into procedures capable of causing injury or death behind their parents’ back,” he continued, pointing to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, a government program that handles cases of vaccines causing harmful side effects.
To become law, the bill must pass a second council vote and be signed by Democratic Mayor Muriel E. Bowser.
This is a major aspect of the Democratic agenda, folks, to make children virtually wards of the State with parents as uninvolved in the equation as possible. We must fight this horrendous overreach!
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