A recent District of Columbia law, the D.C. Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act of 2020, allows kids aged 11 and up to get any vaccine recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), including COVID shots, without parental consent or knowledge. Now, parents are fighting back.
The bill passed the D.C. Council on a 10-3 vote last November, and was signed into law by Mayor Muriel Bowser in December. It went into effect on March 19, 2021. On Monday, the Children’s Health Defense (CHD) and the Parental Rights Foundation filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for D.C., seeking a court order to rule the law unconstitutional.
The plaintiffs are four parents who have minor children attending public school in D.C. and want a preliminary injunction to prohibit Bowser, the D.C. Department of Health, and the D.C. Public School System from enforcing the act.
“The D.C. Act is an unconscionable intrusion on the rights and liberty of parents and children,” said CHD president and general counsel Mary Holland. “As the Supreme Court held, ‘The liberty interest at issue in this case — the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children — is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court.’”
According to CHD, “The D.C. Act contains several provisions designed to deceive parents and hide that the child has been vaccinated against parental judgment, authority or religious convictions.” If a minor has a religious exemption from vaccines or has opted out of the HPV vaccine based on documents filed by parents, the act mandates that the health care provider should leave those parts of the student’s immunization record “blank.”
The act requires health care personnel to provide accurate immunization records to the Department of Health and to the student’s school, but not to parents. It also has subsections giving health care personnel the authority to “seek reimbursement, without parental consent, directly from the insurer,” adding that “insurers shall not send an Explanation of Benefits for services provided.”
Essentially, the law permits an eleven-year-old to override his or her parents’ written directive that they don’t want their child vaccinated, and then the child’s school will falsify and withhold vaccine records from the parents. Moreover, the health care providers who vaccinate children against parental wishes will be paid by the parents’ health insurance company, but the parents will receive no documentation of this.
In 1986, Congress enacted the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (“Vaccine Act”) in response to a growing number of lawsuits alleging vaccine injuries. The Vaccine Act and the subsequent Supreme Court decision Bruesewitz v. Wyeth protects vaccine manufacturers from all liability because vaccine injury is “unavoidable.” Those injured by vaccines are required to seek compensation from the government National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which has paid over $4.5 billion in compensation to the families of those injured or killed by vaccines.
In order to minimize injury and save money, the Vaccine Act requires that parents are provided with Vaccine Information Statements, vaccine records, and directions for reporting vaccine adverse events to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.