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Over the past year, states, including New York and California, have passed laws that end religious exemptions for vaccinations. In response to the change in law, which would no longer allow parents to opt-out of immunizations, anti-vax parents have protested that the new laws violate their freedom of choice.
Last summer, lawmakers in Idaho considered moving forward with tightening the state’s laws around vaccinations and requiring parents to vaccinate their children for measles, mumps, and rubella, according to the Idaho Statesman. If parents do not get the vaccinations for their children, the children would not be allowed to attend public school.
Recently, testimony from a town hall event in Idaho was released by the Idaho Statesman, shedding some light on parents’ point of view over the controversial topic. Notably, about two dozen parents who are against required vaccinations referred to themselves as “refugees” who had fled “medical segregation.”
Anti-Vax Moms Call Themselves ‘Refugees’ After Moving to Idaho
Idaho is a state with one of the most relaxed rules about vaccinations, allowing parents to opt-out of vaccinating based on personal beliefs, not just medical or religious reasons. “I’m a mother. And I’m also a California refugee. I came in search of medical freedom,” one parent said during the town hall event according to the Idaho Statesman.
“I’m writing as a deeply concerned Parent & California Refugee, who had to pull my entire Family out of the State to protect them from Tyrannical Government,” another anti-vax parent shared. “I will not stand by allowing Idaho to become a Socialist State.”
States have begun tightening laws in response to an increase in measles cases. In the past year, there have been over 1200 cases in 31 states.
“The majority of cases were among people who were not vaccinated against measles,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. “Measles is more likely to spread and cause outbreaks in U.S. communities where groups of people are unvaccinated.”
In the end, lawmakers in Idaho voted to keep the state’s current rules around vaccinations.
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