A federal judge has temporarily halted a DC law that allows minors to get vaccinated without parental consent.
The district’s Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act of 2020 allows children as young as 11 to get vaccinated without their parent’s knowledge.
The case was brought before a federal judge thanks to two lawsuits brought on by parents last year.
According to a report from The Hill, one of the lawsuits was filed by the parents of a teenager at a public charter school. The complaint alleges that the school created a “pressure-cooker environment, enticing and psychologically manipulating” their child to “defy their parents and take vaccinations against their parents’ wills.”
“The father alleged that his child was ‘medically frail’ and developed autoimmunity, alopecia (severe hair loss), asthma, and eczema after receiving vaccines. As a result, he said he is of the sincere religious belief that ‘he should not inject a foreign substance into his son’s body that may harm him,’ and objects to the COVID-19 vaccine as well as all standard childhood vaccines,” the report explained. “The lawsuit did not identify the father’s religion. It was filed by Children’s Health Defense, an organization run by anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.”
The second lawsuit was brought on by a Maryland family whose child went to DC for the vaccine to be able to attend a summer camp that required it, despite their religious exemption.
Judge Trevor McFadden ruled in both cases that the law targets religious parents, as it hides the vaccination status of children from those with religious exemptions.
McFadden wrote that his ruling “will not prevent children from being vaccinated. Nor will it prevent the District from continuing to advertise the importance of vaccines, incentivizing vaccinations, and setting up vaccine clinics in schools. The only impact will be that children will be unable to decide to get vaccinations without their parent’s consent.”