Time to Rise UP!
On Friday, a bill was introduced that will impact all families in Colorado whether you choose to vaccinate your children or not. The bill, HB19-1312 School Immunization Requirements, gives broad authority to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Board of Health (BOH) to make rules that govern immunizations in the state of Colorado.
If you believe parents have the fundamental, unalienable right to direct the upbringing, medical care, and education of their children then this is the time to rise up! The government continues to take on the role of parenting our children and we must stand up and say enough, before it’s too late.
Specific Concerns Regarding HB19-1312:
- Under this bill, the BOH must require all vaccines recommended by ACIP/CDC and has broad authority to add any others they determine as necessary. Currently, Colorado does not require the flu and HPV vaccines, but they are recommended by ACIP/CDC.
- BOH has the authority to make rules to establish the timing of the compliancewith the required vaccines for school entry or grade-level entry. Because the goal is to increase compliance, the timing could be used to make it more difficult to get exemptions.
- All exemptions submitted must use the CDPHE developed and standardized “certificate.” Currently, a statement signed by a parent is all that is needed to be exempt for religious or personal reasons. In 2016, we fought against a form mandated by CDPHE that unconstitutionally compelled parents to assent to a viewpoint that violated their conscience.
- Medical exemptions will only be allowed based on contraindications as described by the ACIP/CDC. Licensed physicians would not be able to use their knowledge of your child or any information contrary to the ACIP/CDC when submitting a medical exemption.
- Religious and personal exemptions must be submitted in person and signed by a representative at CDPHE or a local health agency. Subsequent renewals of religious and personal exemptions can be submitted either online or in person. The in-person requirement is overly burdensome to families and could potentially be a violation of your privacy, especially if they require your child’s presence.
- Immunization and exemption data are to be collected by CDPHE, the local school, and physicians and centrally stored in CDPHE’s CIIS. Demanding a child’s data be stored in this state database is a violation of privacy under the laws governing a child’s educational and health data (FERPA and HIPAA).
- Opt-out of CIIS database applies to “immunization information” but not “exemption data.” There is no way to totally opt out your child’s exemption data from this database. When one does opt their child out of the immunization database, your child is not removed from the system, instead your child is put on the list of those objecting to having the information available. Further, even though this information is supposed to be confidential, it is available to all school health officials, doctors, hospitals, and health departments.
- CDPHE will develop educational materials regarding only the benefits of immunizations. There is no requirement that they mention the well-known and documented risks of any of the vaccinations in the materials they develop.
- ACIP/CDC: Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Federal Department of Health and Human Services
- BOH: Board of Health
- CDPHE: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
- CIIS: Colorado Immunization Information System
- FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
- HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
At this point, the bill is expected to pass this committee, but God can change hearts and minds! The Democrats on the committee especially need to hear from those opposed to this bill.
Please remember to be cordial and respectful in your correspondence and conversation. You are representing not only the homeschooling community but our Lord, Jesus Christ! Let everything we do in connection with this bill be an offering to Him and Him alone!
Trusting in the mighty power and grace of Jesus,
Carolyn Martin, CHEC Legislative Liaison