A Fight For Rights – Haley and Priscilla

For our final grade we, Haley and Priscilla, will be arguing for vaccinations not to be mandatory. Vaccinating children has become a very controversial topic over time, as new vaccines are hitting the market and more and more states are requiring kids to be vaccinated in order for them to go to public school. Though vaccines were intended to protect the health of citizens and create immunity for diseases, enforcing vaccination also disrupts people’s rights under the constitution.

The most common argument against mandatory vaccination is that it goes against the tights American citizens are granted under the first amendment. The first amendment states that ““Congress Shall Make No Law Respecting an Establishment of Religion, or Prohibiting the Free Exercise Thereof” and many people claim that requiring vaccinations is not allowing them to practice their religion, but governments are still requiring the people to vaccinate their children. Accommodations can be made religious purposes but the parents are required to go through a rigorous 3 part process where they must “genuinely” declare their faith and prove that they are in fact part of a religious organization. This process doesn’t allow for many people to actually be exempted from vaccines, therefore denying their right to practice their religion without consequences (like not being able to go to public school).

photo by ABC 7 news

Along the lines of opposing mandatory vaccination, the exemptions for mandatory vaccinations only extend to people who feel that their religious rights are being violated, not people who feel that the vaccines violate their rights as a human. Many people oppose vaccines because they feel that they are unsafe and unnecessary. Many vaccines have side effects and parents believe that requiring their kids to take vaccines, is like playing Russian Roulette with their health. DTaP, which is the vaccine that helps children younger than age 7 develop immunity to three deadly diseases caused by bacteria: diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis), caused one in four children to develop side effects that got worse with each booster shot of the DTaP vaccine. Many people also believe that vaccines are unnecessary because many of the required vaccines are for diseases that are no longer present in the U.S such as polio and rubella. Another common argument is that choosing not to have your child vaccinated serves no harm to other children who are vaccinated, because they are already vaccinated.

There are many more reasons why vaccines should not be made mandatory, including that not everyone can afford the vaccines and that even though the U.S is one of the only countries to require mandatory vaccines in most of the states, we are not the most disease free. From this many people feel that their rights are being denied and that the government is forcing the public to take medication that they don’t want to take. We believe that it is the right of the individual person to choose if they want to take vaccines or not.

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