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Conn. Lawmakers Take Heat For Supporting Repeal Of Religious Exemptions For Vaccines

Three Connecticut lawmakers from Fairfield County faced a hostile audience at Westport Library Monday night as they held an informational meeting on a legislative effort to remove religious exemptions for childhood vaccinations. 

State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, Senator Will Haskell and Representative Jonathan Steinberg had a tough time taking control of the room, which was filled to capacity. 

“Sir please excuse yourself….no...no...no.”

The lawmakers were joined by medical professionals who tried to explain the scientific reasons for getting rid of the religious exemption. Duff acknowledged the legislation would probably not get the support of most of the people in the room.

“The people here today are bringing information that has not been scientifically proven. And in fact, it has been debunked many times. They’ve refused to listen to the scientific community, the medical community, and I think we are just playing with fire by not removing the religious exemption.”

The legislation, which has the support of Governor Ned Lamont, is expected to be taken up in the next legislative session that begins in February.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.