From the March 2003 Idaho Observer:
Vaccination Liberation gives committee testimony in support of vac law amendment
Parents' rights the focus of unusual Idaho congressional hearing
BOISE -- North and South Idaho Vaccination Liberation directors Ingri Cassel and Angie Vasquez addressed both the House and Senate Health and Welfare committees February 26, 2003, regarding the need to clarify the wording of Idaho's vaccination law I.C. 39-4804. Legislators considered their testimonies highly irregular since they were not testifying in support of a bill currently before either committee. I had been assured by our local representative Charles Eberle that a bill would be finalized based in part upon our testimonies justifying the need for our proposed changes, commented Cassel (The Idaho Observer, Feb., 2003)
According to current Idaho state law, I.C. 39-4804, vaccinations are voluntary and both state agencies and those administering vaccines are obligated to inform potential vaccine recipients of this fact. The law also states that the parent or guardian is entitled to an accurate explanation of the complications known to follow such immunization.
We were able to offer plenty of evidence that children are being denied admittance to schools and daycares based on their vaccination status. But the real problem we hoped to shed light on is the way the current law is worded to apparently protect the rights of children while ignoring the rights of adults to refuse vaccinations, said Cassel.
Cassel's testimony focused on the reasons for VacLib's proposed clarification in the wording of I.C. 39-4804 but also raised the fact that vaccines have never been shown to be either safe or effective. No vaccine has ever been proven to be 100 percent safe or 100 percent effective, so, in essence, our state's immunization program is a form of state sanctioned and enforced medical experimentation, Cassel told legislators in her opening statement.
She also quoted U.S. Representative Ron Paul, MD (R-Texas), who recently stated, When we give government the power to make medical decisions for us, we, in essence, accept that the state owns our body.
Angie Vasquez of Burley testified next, sharing with the senators and representatives the numerous cases of flagrant disregard for our state's current vaccine laws. In order to justify our request for a fine to be levied against those who do not honor or inform potential vaccine recipients of exemptions, Vasquez stated, Adding a penalty for violating our current law could bring in much needed revenue for our state. Enforcing the law by fining those who violate it will not only benefit the state but it will also help the parents of Idaho make an informed decision regarding the choice of a medical procedure that is fraught with risk and certainly not in the category of emergency medicine.
Her comments were timely since VacLib's testimonies were scheduled to be heard at 1:30 p.m. but were delayed for an hour while the entire Senate and House deliberated over budget cuts.
Ironically, VacLib's February 26 testimony was scheduled the same day people were testifying in regard to HB 240, a bill amending Idaho's Child Protection Act. The room was filled with hospital administrators, doctors and children's rights advocates testifying against HB 240.
VacLib's testimonies were followed by the tearful testimony of Corissa Mueller, a mother who lost custody of her 5-week-old baby after refusing a spinal tap and antibiotics on the advice of her naturopathic physician Karen Erikson. HB 240 is a bill that would further support parental rights in the face of state-sanctioned medical experimentation. Corissa and her husband Eric Mueller were the only two people who signed up to testify in support of HB 240.
To view the entire text of Cassel and Vasquez's testimonies along with supporting documents, go to www.vaclib.org/news/boise.htm
To view the entire text of HB 240, go to www3.state.id.us/oasis/H0240.html
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