Washington State Senate passed a bill last Wednesday that removes the “personal preference” exemption from kids vaccination schedules. The bill (SB 1638) passed 25-22 almost straight down party lines. The bill’s passage immediately caused a backlash among parents who either don’t feel the vaccine is safe, or want to preserve parental rights.
Annette Cleveland, a Democrat, spent two hours debating the benefits of vaccines on the floor. She’s the main sponsor of the bill.
Demostraters immediately let their voices be heard on the capitol steps.
“We’re not here saying that we’re anti vaccine,” said bill opponent Elvera Karpachuk. “But we want to make sure that we have choice.”
But the state confirmed it’s support for government intervention in parental choice.
State Health Secretary Dr. John Wiesman testified earlier, “The bottom line is, this is preventable and it’s preventable with our highly safe and effective vaccines.”
The clash between parental rights advocates and politicians is hardly resolving itself. The media continues to report on measles cases on a daily basis, placing pressure on local politicians to create more laws. For the most part, Republicans have voted against new laws that degrade parental rights in concern with vaccines. The issue is likely to make its way into the 2020 Presidential campaign, where candidates are likely to be tested over the issue.