The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear a challenge to New York state’s requirement that all children must be vaccinated before attending public school, effectively upholding an appeals court ruling that stated the policy does not violate students’ constitutional right of religious freedom.
In addition, the appeals court upheld a federal judge’s ruling that students who were exempted from the immunization policy for religious reasons could be banned from school during an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease, according to The Associated Press.
The response to this decision has been mixed because denying public education because parents exercise their right not to vaccinate their child does seem to violate rights. On the other hand, children who aren’t vaccinated can present health risks to other children in school.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman weighed in, saying, “I applaud the Supreme Court for letting stand the Second Circut’s decision recognizing the validity of laws in both New York State and New York City requiring vaccination for schoolchildren.”
“Protecting children from debilitating communicable disease should be a top priority,” Shneiderman said.
However, there are some that argue that vaccines themselves sometimes cause health-related issues in children.
Three New York City families who challenged the mandate were disheartened by the news. The attorney for those families, Patricia Finn, stated that she was “disappointed, but I think there’s more coming.”
She mentioned a preliminary injunction that was issued by a federal judge in White Plains, N.Y., late last month that allowed a parent the right to exempt a boy from vaccines containing animal byproducts or fetal tissues on religious grounds.
“Throughout the country… people are organizing and challenging these statutes,” Finn stated. “I don’t know why the (Supreme) Court didn’t take it. There’s far more coming.”
H/T Star Tribune
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