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Bill To Bar Religious Exemptions From Vaccine Requirements Advances In Hartford

Susan Haigh
Parents and vaccine skeptics chant "kill the bill" at the Connecticut Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Monday, the Public Health Committee considered whether to eliminate the state's religious exemption for certain childhood vaccines.

A key Connecticut legislative committee advanced a bill that would remove religious exemptions for parents who don’t want to vaccinate their children.

The bill passed the General Assembly’s Public Health committee by 14-11. New Britain Democrat Peter Tercyak said threats of a public health crisis outweighed concerns.

“We have no trouble banning something even though it may impinge on somebody’s religion if we’re doing it for society’s greater good. At least that’s our history.”

Republican State Representative Vincent Candelora, however, said he had some reservations.

“We are eroding a religious liberty. And I think before I even take that consideration, I wanna have the data. I wanna do it in the least restrictive means before we take that leap.”

Hundreds of protesters have attended hearings on the bill at the Capitol during this year’s legislative session. Some said it infringes on parental rights.

Governor Ned Lamont supports the bill. He says a thoughtful vaccination policy is needed considering the infectious viruses threatening our nation and state from overseas.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.