Opinion: NJ Assemblyman Trying to Take Away Your Rights As a Parent
Raising kids in today's world can be challenging, but in New Jersey your rights as a parent are constantly challenged. It seems the government has more of a say over your child's welfare than you do as a parent.
The latest assault is from Assemblyman Herb Conaway Jr. (D-7) from Burlington County. I've been getting emails about the Assemblyman slipping in an amendment to a bill, close to becoming law, that would eliminate religious exemptions for childhood vaccinations. Many parents are panicked because some of them already have vaccine-injured children are afraid that removing this last protection of their rights as parents would endanger their kids.
You can call them "anti-vaxxer" nut jobs or dismiss them as a fringe group, but these are people with real bad experiences and real stories of what mandating large amounts of vaccines can do. They're extremely well read have had experiences that most parents are lucky to have lived without going through what they have. The latest scare by our state government to strip away any last remaining rights as parents comes on the heels of a measles outbreak in towns like Lakewood. If they can use this to their advantage and convince the rest of the legislature, that it's "the right thing to do", like our Governor likes to say, then there goes more of our parental rights.
If you really care about any parents rights when it comes to the welfare of their child, you'll contact your legislator and maybe attend the next public hearing, IF they have one. I'm including the latest flyer from the New Jersey Coalition for Vaccine Choice and the current bill and the proposed amendment. We have let far too many of our liberties and our money go to Trenton without enough pushback. It's the most basic of rights to be able to have a say in the health and wellbeing of your children. The state has eroded those rights over the years and few seem to take notice...until it affects them.
What's happening in this state now is astounding and should scare the hell out of the people who are stuck here by jobs, family ties or inability to move out. The rest of us fools who've chosen to stay have to speak up try to stop some of the relentless money and power grabs by the people we've elected to represent us in Trenton.
Here is part of an email I got from one of the concerned parents:
You may have heard from other families already, but in case you haven't, I'd like to update you on Assemblyman Conaway's latest "fast-one". We see that there is a coordinated push (with I'm sure lots of money behind it) in many states to follow what CA did and take away exemptions to vaccination.
On Thursday, after the full assembly voted for yet another meningitis shot as a required vaccine (A1991), Assemblyman Conaway snuck in an amendment to A3818, the bill to modify religious exemptions and make them much tougher to get. The amendment was to... remove the religious exemption entirely.
By amending on the floor, Assemblyman Conaway has taken away parents' right to speak to the assembly committee. After all, when we spoke at assembly committee it was addressing a VERY different bill. And the public does not get a chance to speak during full assembly meetings.
As of Friday, in calling around to assembly members, they had no idea what was in the amendment that passed on Thursday - they had not seen the amendment.
The next step will be for the full assembly to vote on this bill to remove the religious exemption. After that, it will go to senate committee, then full senate, then to the governor to sign.
This is a very important bill because we're seeing parents' rights erode in NJ. For a family that has already been so devastated by vaccine injury, we feel very vulnerable right now. Once they've removed the religious exemption, they'll make it so tough to get a medical exemption that no doctor will risk their license over it. How do I know? That's what they're doing in CA right now.
Not to mention that freedom of religion is protected by the NJ Constitution, so I'm not sure why they think they can trample that right.
This is the updated version of the bill. Everything in the [brackets] will be deleted in the new bill.
OPPOSE A3818 -Bill Eliminating Religious Rights and Medical Freedom
On Thursday, January 31st, Assemblyman Conaway (D-7) put forth a floor amendment to A3818. This was not a minor amendment, this amendment completely guts the current state statue and public laws pertaining to vaccinations by completely removing the religious exemption. Public Laws that have historically and currently enable people to object to vaccination on religious grounds while maintaining high vaccination rates in our state.
This is a significant change that has now completely bypassed committee discussion and public input and made a mockery of the democratic process.
Religious freedom is paramount and by attacking the rights of a minority of people in NJ (only 2% claim a religious exemption), Assemblyman Conaway is attempting to enable the pharmaceutical industry to dictate medical procedures that all must adhere to.
Vaccine injuries and deaths in NJ are continuing to increase and the current medical exemption to vaccination is virtually non-existent and almost impossible to qualify for in NJ.
People who use the religious exemption do so because injection into their body or the body of their child(ren) is a violation of deeply held religious beliefs. Many trusted the system, they trusted their doctors and they are paying the ultimate price. Their faith now rests with a higher power that will be needlessly stripped away, leaving no options. Removing the religious exemption will force parents with vaccine injured children to continue to harm and re-injure their children.
The current law already allows for unvaccinated students to be excluded from school in the case of an outbreak, why is it necessary to completely remove religious rights?
The New Jersey Legislature must stand for the religious rights of its citizens and REJECT A3818.