Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Suit Challenges California's Elimination of Religious and Personal Belief Exemptions From Mandatory Immunization

A number of parents as well as several advocacy groups filed a lawsuit in a California federal district court last week challenging the constitutionality of California's SB 277, a law requiring school students (other than those being home-schooled) to be immunized against ten specific diseases, and removing the state's prior personal belief and religious belief exemptions. The law became effective on July 1. (See prior posting.) The complaint (full text) in Whitlow v. State of California, (SD CA, filed 7/1/2016) says that various plaintiffs have a variety of safety and religious objections to immunizations, including concern that some vaccines are manufactured with cell lines that began with aborted fetal cells. The complaint alleges that the new law violates a number of state and federal constitutional protections:
Defendants' conduct infringes on the Plaintiffs' and their children's fundamental rights, including parental rights, right to bodily integrity, right to informed consent and to refuse medical intervention, right to privacy, and/or right to free exercise of religion, by requiring Plaintiffs to choose between those rights and the right to education.
Los Angeles Times reports on the lawsuit.

UPDATE: The court denied a temporary restraining order, finding there were no allegations of immediate harm. Also there were no efforts to serve defendants. Whitlow v. California, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86848 (SD CA, July 5, 2015).