Moms deliver 3,300 signatures asking Justice to veto bill weakening vaccine requirements

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

On the final day of the legislative session, the Senate passed HB5015 which changes state vaccine requirements for children. Senator Mike Maroney blasted the bill that day, saying, “When you add people who choose to not get vaccines to our insurance pool, we all get to pay higher insurance rates. What we’re about to do to the kids and adults of West Virginia, it’s an embarrassment for me to be a part of it, and it should be an embarrassment for everybody.”

The original version of the bill opened a religious exemption which would allow any student at any school to opt-out of the vaccine requirement by providing a note stating they were claiming a religious exemption. The Senate Health Committee amended the bill by limiting the opt-out only to private and parochial schools.

Governor Justice must act on every bill the legislature passes by either signing, veoting, or allowing a bill to become law without his signature. Justice has until Wednesday to act on the vaccine bill.

On Friday afternoon, a group led by moms from West Virginia opposed to the bill presented a petition at Justice’s office with more than 3,300 signatures.

Photo by Rafael Barker.

“It is important to protect our kids and communities from highly contagious and untreatable diseases” said Meagan Moses, President of the West Virginia Women’s Alliance. “Other states that have carved ot exceptions…have recently seen dangerous outbreaks.”

“While we respect and honor freedom, we believe young children and vulnerable populations deserve to be free of these life threatening and debilitating diseases,” Moses continued. “Our current law is an exemplary model that other states are moving towards.”

The West Virginia Women’s Alliance is a new “cross-partisan” advocacy organization “working to remove barriers to prosperity, encourage balanced, moderate, and accountable leadership, and empower West Virginia women and families to effectively participate in shaping their own futures.”

Photo by Rafael Barker.

This makes the third group to visit the governor’s office recently regarding the vaccine bill.

A group of several dozen doctors visited last week, calling on Justice to veto the bill for the state’s health. They argue that by opening this door we could risk the state’s herd immunity and end up like several surrounding states who are seeing the return of measles, for example.

Earlier this week, a half dozen citizens who belong to West Virginians for Health Freedom delivered a letter asking Justice to sign the bill. They argue that patients and families should be able to make their own health decisions. They also presented a petition with approximately 1,000 signatures in support of the bill.

Stay tuned to RealWV next week for an update as to whether Gov. Justice decides to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.


Justice side with medical experts, vetoes vaccine exemption bill


Related stories

Give us your feedback