State lawmakers kill vaccine bill following heated arguments
Feb 07, 2016 02:32 AM EST
Hawaii residents had finally spoken out against vaccines, saying they cause everything from autism to the Zika virus. And now, Hawaii lawmakers killed a bill to speed up the state's process for adopting federal vaccination guidelines.
According to Star Advertiser, the bill would have permitted the state Health Department to more easily adopt the federal rules, which a few opponents of the measure fear would come up with more vaccinations. Under the bill considered by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health, the department would have 90 days to take on the rules.
And right after hearing opposition to the bill, Senator Rosalyn Baker claimed on Thursday that the bill would not move forward. The senator's declaration just came prior to the usual time when lawmakers decide on the bills.
Baker, then, claimed that the bill didn't pass the Senate because there seemed to be "so much confusion and a lot of misinformation" about what it would do. Senator Will Espero, who is on the Baker's committee, also stated that he hasn't seen a lawmaker do that before.
"Normally she would wait to the end of the agenda," Espero stated. He added via Herald Courier, "But in this case, she felt that it might be best before we get to the other bill to just share with them that, 'FYI, I hear you, and I've made the decision.' " And that Baker's decision just shows how the public can be involved in making laws, Espero insisted.
Moreover, The Eagle claimed that supporters of the bill claim that it would have aided the Hawaii Department of Health address public health crises quickly. They said given the potential for diseases to spread swiftly, it's important to be able to adopt vaccination rules instantly.
On the other hand, the opponents of the bill argued against against mandatory vaccinations, stating that their side effects are harmful and the people should have the right to make their own health decisions. "We're all about freedom," mentioned Renee Kawelo, who opposed the bill. "We want you to have the choice to decide. If you want a vaccine, great. Go vaccinate yourself."
Kawelo also revealed that he doesn't want to vaccinate her children because vaccines could make them sick. And vaccinations have become a top issue across the nation. In fact, for decades, critics have argued that vaccines can cause debilitating side effects, most notably autism, which scientific research has debunked.
For now, roughly the entire states grant religious exemptions for people who have religious beliefs against vaccinations. And that 20 states allow exemptions for personal or moral beliefs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.