Measles, eliminated from the United States in 2000, is
back with a vengeance, with outbreaks nationwide. Infection rates for other vaccine-preventable diseases, such as whooping cough (pertussis), are at their highest levels in decades as well.
Why? Not enough Americans are getting vaccinated.
Distressingly, whether due to religious dogmas, disproven conspiracy theories, or other closely-held beliefs that reject accepted science, anti-vaccine negligence is too often protected by law. Forty-seven states, including New York, allow parents to exempt their children from vaccination if they believe it contradicts their religious beliefs. Seventeen states allow exemptions if parents believe vaccination contradicts any personal belief.
Now, New York State Senator Brad Holyman (D-27) and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-81) have introduced two bills, S6017 and A8329, that would finally end dangerous and unnecessary non-medical religious vaccine exemptions. The Center for Inquiry (CFI) strongly supports these measures and urges you to tell your state lawmakers to do the same.
These bills would mark a crucial step forward for public health, finally closing a dangerous and unnecessary loophole. Under the guise of "religious freedom," faith-based exemptions have allowed reckless parents to undermine "herd immunity" and put everyone — especially other people’s children — at risk of easily preventable diseases. Religious exemptions also put the state in the untenable position of having to determine authentic and sincere religious belief.
CFI strongly supports S6017 and A8329. We urge you to use our pre-made electronic form to urge your state lawmakers right now to protect sound public health science, and their fellow New Yorkers, by advancing and passing these necessary bills.
End Non-Medical Vaccine Exemptions
Dear [Decision Maker],
As a constituent, and friend of the Center for Inquiry, I write to urge you to support two crucial bills, S6017 and A8329, which would finally end unnecessary and dangerous non-medical religious exemptions from childhood vaccination.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
©2017 Center for Inquiry3965 Rensch Rd. Amherst, NY 14228