Why Is There Less Hassle to Opt Out of Vaccination Than to Get a Safe and Legal Abortion?

There has been a spate of bills, introduced by conservatives, designed to make getting abortions more difficult. One feature of these bill is that healthcare providers are forced to tell women about the consequences of the abortion (and, in some cases, factually incorrect information). This is after a mandatory ultrasound. Keep in mind, abortion is a legal and safe procedure.

Meanwhile, opting out of vaccination–which endangers not only the unvaccinated child but others as well–is incredibly easy (boldface mine):

…all but two states let parents with religious objections skip immunizing their children.

An additional 20 states allow exemptions based on parents’ philosophical or personal beliefs. Requirements for securing personal-belief exemptions vary by state but are often as easy as signing a form.

Signing a form at the child’s school is all it takes to obtain a personal-belief exemption in California, which researchers say has some of the loosest opt-out rules in the country. A California Assembly bill proposed in February would change that, requiring parents to obtain the signature of a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant affirming that the health professional provided “information regarding the benefits and risks of the immunization and the health risks of the communicable diseases” covered by the state’s vaccine mandates. A similar requirement — the first of its kind in the nation — took effect for personal-belief exemptions in Washington state in July 2011. The Washington State Medical Assn. supported the measure. Despite Washington’s action to encourage immunization, the state’s health department said in April that pertussis has reached “epidemic” levels there, with 640 cases of whooping cough reported in 23 counties so far in 2012.

The California bill would help reduce the risk of disease outbreaks by requiring parents to become informed before opting out, said Rep. Richard Pan, MD, MPH, the state Assembly member who proposed the legislation, AB 2109….

“This bill doesn’t take away a parent’s right to exempt [his or her child from] immunizations,” said Paul Phinney, MD, president-elect of the California Medical Assn., which supports the bill. “It just makes sure parents are fully informed and make a good decision.”

…“What gravely concerns me is that some doctors will refuse to sign this form,” Dr. Sears said in a post to his website, AskDrSears.com. “I know how doctors think. Many doctors strongly believe that vaccines should be mandatory, and that parents should not have the right to decline vaccines. Some doctors are willing to provide care to unvaccinated kids, despite this difference in philosophy. But now the power over this decision will be put directly into doctors’ hands. He or she can simply refuse to sign the form. Doctors who oppose vaccine freedom of choice have been frustrated for years over this issue. Finally, they will have the power to impose their beliefs on their patients. Patients will be forced to find another doctor, submit to vaccines or get kicked out of school.”

It shouldn’t be easier to endanger living, breathing children than it is to terminate a pregnancy.

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