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June 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Legislation that critics fear will weaken Colorado’s existing exemptions for vaccinating minors will proceed to the House floor for consideration after a 7-4 vote this weekend by the state’s House Health and Insurance Committee.

Senate Bill 163 would task the state health department with annually reviewing and updating the state’s immunization practices, setting a goal of 95 percent vaccination for the student body of every school. 

It is controversial partly for a provision that would recategorize exemptions for non-medical reasons under general exemptions, rather than distinct “religious exemption” and “personal exemption” categories. While the bill doesn’t eliminate any exemptions, critics fear that the decision to stop spelling out these specific justifications in the law is a precursor to ending them.

“It is the incrementalism,” Theo Wilson, an opponent of the bill, testified at the hearing. “It is the way in which they slowly remove this choice and that choice. And before you know it, there is no choice.”

Another contentious provision would require parents claiming a religious or personal exemption to either produce a certificate signed by a physician or complete an online course about vaccines, raising questions as to who will write such a course.

“In my 16 years I learned not to trust public health because they are not good sources of information,” testified former Republican state Rep. Kevin Lundberg. “They are not the good guys. They are the bad guys.”

Mandatory vaccination, which is a hot topic again thanks to COVID-19, is controversial for a number of reasons. While the media often fixate on parents who oppose vaccines based on hotly-debated fears over side effects, they tend to overlook another group that supports vaccines in general while having an ethical conflict with vaccines derived from aborted babies’ cells.

As of June 9, the United States is estimated to have seen more than 2 million COVID-19 cases, with more than 113,000 deaths and 782,000 recoveries. More than 40 percent of those deaths have come from nursing homes.

The lockdowns instituted across the country in response have led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, more than 33 million Americans filing for unemployment, fears that tens of thousands of small businesses will never reopen, and a range of other physical and mental health woes, due to everything from delayed medical procedures to social isolation to anxiety over being unable to work. Fortunately, Various states lifting or softening their lockdowns last month led to the U.S. Labor Department announcing Friday that a record 2.5 million jobs were restored in May. 

Readers can click here for LifeSiteNews’ live updates on the coronavirus and its impact all over the world. 

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