August 27, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Some state legislatures in the U.S. are attempting to make it legal for minor children to get vaccinated, in particular with the controversial Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) shot, without their parents’ consent, a move that advocates say robs parents of their God-given rights.
Lawmakers in the New York state Assembly and Senate attempted to pass bills this year permitting teens to consent to being vaccinated for HPV and Hepatitis B, NBC News reports, both sexually transmitted diseases, with similar attempts having been made every year since 2009.
Simply change state regulations
Amid the failed attempts, the New York Department of Health opted in 2017 to simply change state regulations so that teens could get the HPV shot without their parents’ permission, the report said, and at least one lawmaker still wants this codified in law.
Aside from New York, California, Delaware, and Washington, D.C., permit teens under 18 to be vaccinated for HPV and hepatitis B without parental involvement, according to NBC’s report.
And a bill was introduced in New Jersey in May of this year amid a measles outbreak that would let teens as young as 14 be vaccinated against a number of diseases, including HPV, without parental consent.
Parents’ rights come from God
The Parental Rights Foundation’s (ParentalRights.org) Executive Director Michael Ramey told LifeSiteNews that while the group does not hold a position on the safety or efficacy of vaccines, “We strongly support the right of loving parents to make informed medical decisions with and for their children.”
Ramey pointed to the 1978 Parham v. J.R. Supreme Court decision, saying the high court rightly concluded that parents provide what children, even adolescents, lack “in maturity, experience, and capacity for judgment required for making life’s difficult decisions,” including medical decisions.
Parents, not the government, are in the best position to guide the teen to the best decision, he said, because “natural bonds of affection lead parents to act in the best interest of their children.”
“Now lawmakers want to steal that role from the parents at the behest of the pharmaceutical companies,” Ramey stated. “Unlike lawmakers, parents aren’t getting campaign contributions; their only motivation is the health and well-being of their child.”
Debi Vinnedge, president of Children of God for Life, which advocates for ethical vaccines, concurred.
“Parents are ordained by God to be the caregivers of their children – not the State,” Vinnedge told LifeSiteNews.
Government intervention and circumvention
NBC’s coverage was presented against the backdrop of rising anti-vaccination sentiment – with an increasing number of parents suspicious over vaccine safety, ethical concerns, and being forced to vaccinate – as if the issue at hand is parents as hurdles to their children obtaining vaccines, and government intervention, with circumvention of parents, presented as the antidote.
It spoke of “the move to give teens a voice in vaccination,” and stated the HPV vaccine is “far more effective in protecting against HPV-related diseases than expected,” citing a study published in The Lancet in June.
The report said as well that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a U.S. government advisory panel, had recommended in June that both men and women up to age 26 get the HPV shot, saying further that the CDC “almost always accepts the Committee’s recommendations and uses them as guidance for U.S. doctors.”
With a hint of lament, it said that, “Only about 43 percent of teens, ages 13-17, in the U.S. have received all the recommended dosages of the HPV vaccine,” and included quotes from a CDC spokesperson saying that the HPV vaccine is “very safe.”
NBC’s report also quoted a representative of one of Planned Parenthood’s advocacy arms speaking negatively about “barring them (minors) from confidential health care.” Planned Parenthood and other abortion vendors routinely refer to abortion as healthcare and a “reproductive right,” likewise advocating for minors to have access to abortion without parental notification or consent.
“Adolescents with confidentiality concerns are less likely to seek care related to reproductive and sexual health care than those without confidentiality concerns,” the Planned Parenthood rep said.
The article said that all 50 states and Washington, D.C., have laws allowing dependent teens to pursue diagnosis and treatment for issues like sexually transmitted infections, mental health problems, and substance use disorders without the consent, and sometimes without the knowledge, of their parents.
It continued, saying 18 states have laws that either overtly allow teens to consent for all medical treatments including the HPV vaccine, or interpret existing statutes similarly. At the same time, 24 state health departments say that dependent teens cannot self-consent, while representatives from Utah and Michigan note that teens who enter a Title X provider can do so. A few other states have regulations that are open to interpretation or could not be clarified by the state’s department of health.
Government knows best
Parents are seeing increased pressure from government against parental choice with vaccines amid the vaccine controversy.
In March during the measles outbreak in the various areas of the U.S., Rockland County, New York, had forbidden unvaccinated minors from “enter[ing] any place of public assembly” in the county, unless they are immune, medically barred from immunization, or younger than six months, including houses of worship.
Then in April, New York City’s Department of Health ordered mandatory vaccinations for “all persons residing, working, or attend[ing] school” in a particular neighborhood of Brooklyn, along with the parents and guardians of any child who likewise lives, works, or goes to school there, citing the measles outbreak.
The Oregon House passed a bill in May that would eliminate religious and philosophical exemptions to mandatory vaccines. The billed died, but with no guarantee of reintroduction in a subsequent session, and other U.S. states are poised to do the same.
The measles vaccine was made using an aborted fetal cell line.
Today, it’s vaccinations; tomorrow it could be anything
The American Medical Association (AMA) did nothing to quell the debate when in June it voted for allowing minors to be able to override their parents’ objections to obtain vaccines.
The Family Research Council (FRC) called the AMA’s move “a shot against parental consent.”
Today, it’s vaccinations, tomorrow it could be anything, an FRC report said, quoting President of the Christian Medical and Dental Association Dr. David Stevens regarding the AMA vote.
“This is not a debate about vaccinations, and whether or not they’re good or not,” Stevens said. “This is more of a focus on who knows best what’s [good] for their children in terms of making medical choices.”
Parents should decide what is best for their children
FRC’s Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg wrote in favor of the HPV vaccine upon its 2006 release in a Washington Post op-ed, lauding the potential to protect health and preserve lives.
However Sprigg cautioned against the vaccine being presented as being “100 percent effective,” as it has been touted.
And importantly, he opposed making the vaccine mandatory.
“Pro-family groups are united in believing that parents should decide what is best for their children,” Sprigg wrote.
Vaccine proponents declare vaccines “safe and effective,” while every vaccine insert warns of risks and possible side effects, including death, Ramey told LifeSiteNews.
“Incidents may be rare,” he said, “but as long as risk is present, it is the job and the right of parents – not the state and not public opinion – to weigh those risks and make the decision that is in the minor's best interest.”
Parents know and love their children best
As teens age and mature, families will discuss the risks and benefits together, and can gain further insight from a trusted physician, he continued, but the responsibility must lie with the parents over with the state.
“We whole-heartedly side with the parents, who know and love their child best,” Ramey said.
Vinnedge told LifeSiteNews, “Most doctors are willing to work with parents on what their child does or does not need because they recognize them as the ones who are most knowledgeable of their unique medical conditions and lifestyles.”
Vinnedge pointed out that according to the CDC’s own national VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System), HPV vaccines have resulted in over 9,300 reports of serious adverse reactions.
“Most parents do not want to subject their child to that risk,” she said.