Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Court Rejects Parents' Objections To Vaccination Exemption Form

In W.B. v. Crossroads Academy- Central Street, (WD MO, Nov. 22, 2019), a Missouri federal district court rejected constitutional challenges by parents to the form that Missouri requires to be completed in order to claim a religious exemption for a school child from vaccination requirements. The form contains language strongly encouraging parents to obtain vaccinations for their children. In rejecting the parents' challenge, the court said in part:
Although the Bakers say they have religious scruples against  vaccination, they are not entitled to insist on governmental silence rather than advocacy....
The parental signature at the bottom of the religious exemption form serves to verify the required parental inserts of the child’s name, the types of vaccination objected to, and the grounds for the exemption, simply asserted as “religious.” Filling in, signing and submitting the form in no way comments on or endorses the State’s message....
The nearest legal problem area may be in the contention that contraception opponents should not be required to be “complicit” in the procedure by filing exemption forms. See, Wheaton College v. Burwell, 573 U.S. 958 (2014). In this situation, however, the filing of forms does not advance vaccination use but simply results in an exemption.
Kansas News Service reports on the decision.