SALEM, OR -- A bill banning non-medical exemptions for childhood vaccinations in Oregon passed out of the House Healthcare Committee and moves to Joint Committee on Ways and Means. Chief sponsor, Bend Republican State Representative Cheri Helt, says it would help protect the health of school children. She cites the recent Measles outbreak as evidence of the bill’s importance. She says, "It's time to replace the discredited idea that these vaccines are dangerous and ineffective with scientifically grounded, fact-based public policy."
But the bill faces opposition from Helt’s own party. Salem State Rep. Denyc Boles voted against the committee’s passage, saying she stands for individual medical freedoms and upholding religious liberty. In a statement issued Thursday, Boles said, "This legislation sets a dangerous precedent. One where parents are coerced into medical procedures or risk losing the right for their child to receive an eduction. By passing this policy, government is choosing to follow fear over freedom and it is an alarming precedent to set."
If HB 3063 is approved by Joint Ways and Means, it would head to the House floor for a full vote.