The sun was shining in Boston on July 1 as I sat at a picnic table looking out over Boston Harbor, the very harbor that about 250 years earlier Colonists dumped tea into in protest of British taxes. As a Massachusetts native, I am proud of my state’s history in the fight for freedom and liberty, but I am saddened by how far Massachusetts has fallen. 

In a state where life is not protected before 24 weeks and schools are promoting transgender ideology to children, Massachusetts lawmakers are now considering transferring vaccination power from parents to the government. 

The Massachusetts Legislature’s Committee on Public Health was prepared to hold a hearing Wednesday to discuss bills that would either restrict or eliminate the religious exemption for vaccines for K-12th grade students at public and private schools. The hearing was postponed due to a fire at the Statehouse and is expected to be rescheduled soon.

For decades, Massachusetts’ vaccine statute has allowed parents to apply for religious exemptions from the vaccines schools usually require, such as influenza type B; diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis; polio; hepatitis B; measles, mumps, and rubella; and varicella (chickenpox). Now, the state legislature is considering removing the religious exemption altogether, or requiring that all exemptions be processed and approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. 

“No one should be forced to violate their sincere religious beliefs in order to send their kids to school,” Sam Whiting, staff attorney for the Massachusetts Family Institute, told The Daily Signal.

“But by eliminating the religious exemption to school vaccine requirements, that is what these bills would do. Massachusetts lawmakers clearly learned nothing from the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents want their rights to be honored and their religious beliefs to be respected,” Whiting said, adding, “These bills do neither, and need to be rejected.” 

One of the bills under consideration would also allow minors to consent to vaccines without parental knowledge. 

Regardless of one’s personal views regarding vaccines, the thought of parents being forced to choose between adhering to their religious beliefs or sending their child to school is a sober reminder of just how far Massachusetts has fallen from its motto, translated from Latin: “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.”

On today’s edition of the “Problematic Women” podcast, we discuss the importance of parental rights and why removing the religious exemption for vaccines for students in Massachusetts is a violation of the First Amendment. 

Also on today’s show, we explain what a military spending bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act is and what abortion has to do with it. Also: Transgender Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine says youth should not have to go through the “wrong puberty.” Is there such a thing? We weigh in. 

Listen to the podcast below:

Editor’s note: This article was updated after publication to clarify that the Massachusetts hearing on religious exemptions for vaccines for students was postponed due to a fire. 

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