Around New England

Maine Governor:  Thou Shalt Vaccinate

May 25, 2019

Maine’s Democratic governor, Janet Mills, has signed a bill that forces parents to have their children vaccinated even if they have religious or philosophical objections to it, setting up a possible constitutional fight.

Supporters say they are concerned about rising cases of measles, whooping cough, and other communicable diseases in Maine, which state officials say has one of the highest rates of vaccination opt-outs in America, according to The Associated Press.

Opponents say the bill infringes on parents’ rights, including the right to freedom of religion.

Maine H.P. 586 removes language from a state statute requiring vaccinations for children that says that “this requirement may be waived for a person who objects on the grounds of a sincerely held religious or philosophical belief.”

The governor signed the bill Friday, May 24, according to The Associated Press.

The Maine Constitution says in Article I, Section 3:

“All individuals have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no person shall be hurt, molested or restrained in that person’s liberty or estate for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of that person’s own conscience, nor for that person’s religious professions or sentiments, provided that that person does not disturb the public peace, nor obstruct others in their religious worship …”




Read More