It's almost unbelievable where we find ourselves today regarding vaccine mandates and threats to our medical freedom, but after what we witnessed with lockdowns and mandates throughout 2020, it comes as no surprise.
Legislatively, I've been interested in the matter of vaccine mandates long before Covid came along. In January 2018 I introduced HB2037 to ensure that schools duly notify parents of Pennsylvania's legal exemptions to school vaccine mandates when they send out annual letters to inform parents of those policies.
This may seem like a small and unimportant detail to some, but for parents of children with medical exemptions to receiving vaccines, it's a big deal.
A parent of a medically exempt student who gets a letter in the mail stating their child now needs to get a vaccine, absent any caveat that the state's exemptions are still in effect, can become quite confused and frustrated. I know, because my office hears from them. We also hear from parents who exercise their legal right to a religious/philosphical exemption.
I reintroduced this legislation in the 2019-20 session as HB48, and again in our current session as HB261. I'm hoping it will soon receive the attention it deserves from the House Education Committee.
In the summer of 2020, after seeing the nonsense of lockdowns and mask mandates, I knew a Covid-19 vaccine mandate would be the next big thing.
As such, I had a bill drafted to address where I believed at the time these mandates would be focused - the workplace. Being that the General Assembly already regulates the workplace, my HB2731 (the Right to Refuse Act) seemed a good place to start. When the legislative session expired in December, I reintroduced it as HB262 in our current legislative session.
I was thrilled that the House Labor & Industry Committee agreed to hold a hearing early last year on the bill, and subsequently advanced it to the full House for 2nd consideration.
But then things got worse in the world. Vaccine mandates expanded beyond just the workplace and into other areas of life. These mandates and their obligatory 'show me your papers' sidekick raised the issue to more of a societywide threat.
That's when I decided to elevate the issue to a constitutional level and introduced HB2013, which would guarantee your medical freedom in the face of threats from government and employers, as well as protect you from discrimination when interacting in other walks of life.
The bill would add the following new section to Article I of the Pennsylvania Constitution:
§ 30. Medical freedom.
The right of an individual to refuse any medical procedure, treatment, injection, vaccine or prophylactic may not be questioned or interfered with in any manner. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged to any person in this Commonwealth because of the exercise of the right under this section.
This legislation was immediately advanced by the House Health Committee and is currently awaiting action on the House floor. (Please contact your legislator today and insist they support HB2013.)
Why do we need a constitutional amendment, you ask? For the same reason our founding fathers believed we needed to guarantee the rights of free speech, to bear arms, of a jury trial, and the freedom to worship. They knew what life was like when those fundamental individual rights were not guaranteed in writing.
We have reached a seminal moment in history. For many years, we've gotten by while various institutions and entities have mandated vaccines. But they went too far with the Covid-19 vaccine, which has fallen far short of the performance normally expected from standard vaccines, while the nonsense and division caused by mandating it has divided us. Enough is enough.
This is much like the Governor's emergency powers. We lived under that law from 1978 when it was first adopted until 2020 - 42 years - with no Pennyslvania governor abusing it. Floods, snowstorms, Three Mile Island, and other disasters came and went and our disaster emergency law seemed to be a good way to handle all of them.
But then along came Tom Wolf, who mistook those powers as license to trample constitutional rights left and right as he bumbled his way through the Covid pandemic. That's when we learned that the disaster emergency law we had on the books was insufficient, and required two constitutional amendments to repair.
The time has come to establish medical frredom as a fundamental individual right in Pennsylvania. I'd love to see this done at the federal level, but I work in Harrisburg, not Washington DC. That said, I have received some national praise for this language as a model provision for states to adopt. I've heard from legislators in several other states who wish to take this up.
If you're unable to just say no to what others think you should stick into your body, then all those other rights and freedoms don't mean much at all. Your body is your temple, and it belongs to you and you alone. You deserve the right to refuse.
Click the play button to watch my recent visit with our friends from the Pennsylvania Coalition for Informed Consent, who were in the capitol to advocate for passage of my HB2013.
Click the play button to watch my interview on HB 2013 and medical freedom with Diana Campbell from Health Freedom/Pennsylvania.
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