Alabama lawmaker wants to end non-medical exemptions for mandatory vaccinations
The measles “outbreak” is expected to continue to grow in the United States of America and Alabama already has its first case. Nationally, there are 764 cases in 23 states. While this state only has one, there are 293 cases under investigation.
The American public has already declared that they don’t like the exemptions that are used by some to avoid the vaccines. Recent polling shows 72 percent of Americans favor doing away with all exemptions except medical exemption. These numbers actually make for a small increase over polling in 2015 that showed 66 percent of Americans supported required vaccinations.
Freshman Alabama legislator State Representative Scott Stadthagen (R-Hartselle) has proposed a bill that would end the exemptions in the state.
During a radio interview with WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show,”said he started researching the issue when his wife, a cancer survivor, returned to the classroom.
“She works in the school system, so when we got done with her treatments, and her immune system is broken down, well she has to go back to work,” he explained.
In Alabama, there are currently 3,587 people using those exemptions — the most being in the 420 in Madison County.
Stadthagen made it clear that he knows people who are not religiously opposed to the vaccine are using the exemption, and cited churchgoers at his Baptist church.
He faults these people for putting those like his wife and the 321 students in Alabama who have medical exemptions for vaccines at risk., saying, “It’s the parent’s fault for taking advantage of this exemption. It’s a sad thing because there are some religions that don’t believe in medicine, but on the flip side when you have parents abusing that policy, this is where we’re at.”
It is unknown if there are enough votes in the Alabama legislature to get this bill passed.
During the same radio show, State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) said he did not support ending the exemption for religious reasons but wanted to “tighten up” the process in which it is used.
The exemption debate has the potential to be contentious. It has medical, religious and parental issues involved, but it looks like Alabama could have this debate soon.