[Update 12/17/19]: After passing in the New Jersey Assembly 45 to 25, the Senate postponed the final vote to pass the bill. With hundreds of protesters descending on onto the Statehouse and packing the courtyard outside, lawmakers announced the postponement around 8pm. “They can cheer all they want. We’re not walking away from it,” said Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney. Sue Collins of the New Jersey Coalition for Vaccine Choice said that “the parents of New Jersey had a victory today.”
One thing that’s not in question is that the State Senate did not have enough votes to pass the bill. State Senator Joseph Vitale said that they were just one vote short of passing the bill. Senator Joseph Lagana was overheard telling Vitale that he couldn’t vote yes because it was “just too personal.” The senate will likely bring the issue back to a vote in early January, making it imperative that we continue to fight. Please read the article below to find out how, and be sure to continue contacting the state Senators and the Governor.
If passed, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy would need to sign the bill before it could become law. Please urge him to veto if this bill lands on his desk!
In a sudden and unannounced move last week, a New Jersey Senate committee amended pending legislation to eradicate religious freedoms protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. A bill introduced in 2018 was intended to restrict religious exemptions for state-mandated vaccinations, but committee members amended the bill to eliminate religious exemptions altogether – a change that was made without a public hearing.
If the bill passes, New Jersey would become the sixth state to strip citizens of their constitutional rights under the First Amendment.
I’m going to walk you through the sneaky moves by the state committee to abolish religious freedom, the changes the bill would make, and why this is a monumental assault on freedom. Then I’m going to ask for your help.
At the end of this article, there will be an email template and a list of legislators. It is imperative that you reach out to these elected officials IMMEDIATELY. We need to flood their inboxes and light up their phones if we want to preserve the freedom bestowed upon us by God and protected by the Constitution.
We cannot be complacent; we need to mobilize. And we need to do it now.
The Bill – S2173/A3818
Nearly a decade ago, New Jersey legislators – led by Assemblyman, physician, and attorney Herb Conaway Jr. (D-Burlington) – set out to redefine the acceptable parameters for vaccine exemptions. Proponents claimed that vaccines were essential to public safety and that the religious exemption was being exploited by uninformed parents.
It required several steps by parents or guardians that would significantly inhibit their ability to exercise their freedom of religion. They included:
- Specific explanation of how vaccines would violate their religious tenets. This is an issue because Americans should not be forced to justify their faith to government officials.
- Proof that the parent or guardian consistently adheres to these beliefs, including a written statement that they would decline any vaccination. This is an issue because religious beliefs are varied and complex. A parent may have an objection to some vaccines and not others, but that does not render their beliefs invalid.
- A statement that the religious tenet or practice is not solely an expression of that person’s political, sociological, philosophical, or moral views. This was perhaps the biggest issue, because those views fundamentally determine our religious beliefs. Religion is based on faith – our moral, sociological, philosophical, and political views are the intangible compass that is rooted in our faith.
- A statement that the religious objection is not based on concerns about the safety of vaccines. This is another major problem because nearly all faiths demand that we protect our children from harm.
- A statement that the parent understands the risks and benefits of vaccination determined by the state. This is an issue because parents would be forced to sign a document based on the government’s views on vaccination rather than their own beliefs.
- Proof that the parent has received individual counseling regarding the risks and benefits of vaccines. This would be a forced sales pitch, in which parents exercising their constitutional freedoms are forced to sit through a propaganda presentation.
The bill was met with significant resistance due to its conflicting logic and fundamental violation of religious freedom. Nevertheless, legislation continued.
A more recent version of the bill, championed by New Jersey state senators Joseph Vitale and Loretta Weinberg, were met with similar resistance from parents who took issue with the safety of the vaccines of the constitutional violations the bill would permit.
But then, without warning, the bill was rewritten in order to ban religious exemptions altogether while severely restricting access to medical exemptions. The bill was brought before the Senate’s Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee where it passed 6-4.
But the committee members voting on the issue were far from conventional.
Three of the votes in favor of the bill were cast by Democrats who were inexplicably called in to replace permanent committee members. The vote, although it may have been illegitimate, will now send the matter before the full state senate on Monday, December 16, 2019. The matter was listed on the senate agenda even before the hearing and subsequent vote by the committee, indicating that the votes had been secured even before elected officials were able to hear from their constituents.
The legislation also severely limits medical exemption.
While a letter from a physician used to be sufficient for medical exemptions, the new bill would require a specific reason, supported by CDC guidelines, for the exemption. It would also allow the state’s Commissioner of Health to suspend exemptions at his or her discretion as well as to investigate any doctor who awarded them.
Hundreds of parents showed up to the hearing in protest, but their pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears. There were a few representatives who opposed the measure in favor of constitutional freedom. Sen. Michael Testa , R-Cumberland (elected November 5, 2019 in the special election to fill 14 months of Jeff Van Drew’s unfinished term), called the legislation “unconstitutional and un-American.” Sen. Gerald Cardinale, R-Bergen, said he doesn’t oppose vaccines but voted no because “I am not going to take away people’s rights.”
The Truth About Religious Freedom
Advocates of the bill claim that the religious exemption is being abused. But is that true? How can a government body truly determine someone’s specific beliefs? Nearly all religions teach us to protect our children. And while there are many who would claim that vaccines are completely “safe and effective,” they couldn’t be further from the truth.
Here are a few of the potential side effects caused by ProQuad, the measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine sold by Merck. These are taken directly from the manufacturer’s product insert:
- atypical measles
- vaccine strain varicella
- varicella-like rash
- herpes zoster
- herpes simplex
- pneumonia and respiratory infection
- skin infection
- subacute sclerosing panencephalitis
- aseptic meningitis
- aplastic anemia (anemia due to the bone marrow’s inability to produce platelets, red and white blood cells)
- lymphadenitis (inflammation of the lymph nodes)
- anaphylaxis including related symptoms of peripheral, angioneurotic and facial edema
- ocular palsies
- necrotizing retinitis (inflammation of the eye)
- nerve deafness
- optic and retrobulbar neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve)
- Bell’s palsy (sudden but temporary weakness of one half of the face)
- cerebrovascular accident (stroke)
- acute disseminated encephalomyelitis
- measles inclusion body encephalitis
- transverse myelitis
- Guillain-Barré syndrome
- syncope (fainting)
- febrile seizure
- afebrile seizures or convulsions
- polyneuropathy (dysfunction of numerous peripheral nerves of the body)
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome
- Henoch-Schönlein purpura
- acute hemorrhagic edema of infancy
- erythema multiforme
And while many would argue that these side effects are rare, the truth is that they still exist. Giving these vaccines to your child is like playing a game of Russian roulette – are you willing to risk your child’s life?
And these vaccines have not been proven to be effective, despite what pharmaceutical propaganda might say. From 1959-1962 – just before the vaccine was introduced – measles was fatal in only 0.01% of cases. And while the number of unvaccinated children has quadrupled since 2001, from 2000-2016 measles deaths decreased by 84%.
Even doctors and politicians championing the pro-vaccine cause don’t seem to know how they work. Chad Hayes, public figure and pediatrician, recently tried to attack my friend Erin Elizabeth on Twitter claiming “ the DPT vaccine was not a live virus therefore caused exactly zero cases of polio.” POLIO?! Erin quickly informed him that the DPT vaccine was not related to polio and he quickly deleted the tweet, but not before earning a “like” from vaccine villain state Senator Pan. Last time I checked, DPT stood for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus. But I guess doctors and senators shaping vaccine legislation don’t actually need to know what’s in them…
This is frightening.
And the numbers that are used to scare us into submission are not numbers that you can trust. About 90% of measles cases are benign and go unreported, meaning that reported cases of measles only constitute about 10% of all cases. Using reported cases to calculate mortality rates results in numbers that are artificially inflated by a factor of 10.
In the midst of this year’s “outbreak,” New Jersey has reported just 19 cases of measles, none of them fatal.
And the vaccination rates are already at or above what is considered necessary for “herd immunity.” In New Jersey, statewide compliance with mandatory vaccination ranges from 93.5% for pre-kindergartners to 95.8% for sixth graders. Ocean County has the lowest rate at 92.1%, and Cumberland County has the highest rate at 96.7%.
Some vaccines are derived from the tissue of aborted fetuses while others contain dangerous adjuvants.
All of them present the potential for permanent injury or death.
But New Jersey lawmakers don’t care. They want to strip citizens of their religious freedoms and strong-arm them into vaccine compliance. Additionally, they want to keep track of anyone who doesn’t fall in line.
The bill also mandates the creation and maintenance of a state database that would track children’s vaccination records, every exemption, and the doctors who write them. New Jersey wants to give complete authority to the state, and they want to keep tabs on anyone who doesn’t comply. We’ve seen what can happen when a tyrannical mayor decides to force citizens to be vaccinated. We’ve seen what can happen when a doctor writes “too many” medical exemptions.
There’s also a huge financial burden here. Americans do not get to choose where their tax dollars go. In all 50 states, a portion of that money goes to the public-school system. And yet, the parents who have paid into this system for years may find that they are not permitted to send their children to school without state-mandated vaccinations.
Many parents don’t have the time or resources to homeschool their children. This bill would restrict access to services that YOU helped pay for.
The state claims that we’re using our religious beliefs as an excuse to avoid vaccines. But all of the evidence tells us that these vaccines can be incredibly unsafe. But what about the beliefs of the state? Among the protesters last week was freedom advocate Del Bigtree. In a plea to the committee, he said this:
You have faith in a clergy that wears white coats and tells you that’s how they believe. I don’t have faith in your religion of vaccines because I have read all the science.”
Take Action Today!
This illegal legislation is set to go to a vote today. I need you to help me fight back.
First, please sign the petition. It takes 3 seconds and then gives you the option to email the NJ legislature.
CALL and write New Jersey State Senators today and continuously in the upcoming months: Find contact info here.
Fill out this Google Form to continue to voice your concerns (be sure to thank him for voting against the bill!) to Senator Testa.
Join online Facebook groups & like the pages who are actively fighting for our medical freedoms such as RFK Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense, The HighWire with Del Bigtree, Erin at Health Nut News, GreenMedInfo.com, United States for Medical Freedom, and be sure to join your state group. Just type in your state and “for medical freedom”(ie “California for Medical Freedom”) to join freedom fighters at a state and local level!
Many of the Medical Freedom groups are mobilizing and protesting today. Do you live in New Jersey? Join them or connect with them after to learn how you can help the movement.
Below is a sample letter that you can send to all of the representatives in New Jersey. You may edit it as you see fit or simply compose your own. But we need to reach out RIGHT NOW, before it’s too late.
Dear [Public Servant],
As a citizen of the United States and a human being endowed with certain, unalienable rights, I am appalled at the potential restrictions that S2173 would impose. My First Amendment right under the constitution provides me with religious freedom, unencumbered by local or federal governments. And yet, the great state of New Jersey is attempting to strip me of this freedom and mandate the choices I make for my child.
Remember that you are an official elected by the people to represent them. By passing this bill, you would be proving that you are not seeking out the best interests of your constituents. If this vote passes, know that you will lose the support of thousands who expected more.
If you fail to protect us and our children, rest assured that you will not be reelected.
Please do the right thing and vote against S2173.”
Please reach out to the New Jersey state senate and the governor, all of whom possess the power to stop this unconstitutional bill. If you live out of state, please contact your state’s representatives to let them know exactly where you stand. Your state may just be up for a vote next.
There’s no time to waste.