Four parents filed a lawsuit against the District of Columbia on Monday, alleging the district’s recently enacted law deprives parent’s constitutional rights and endangers children’s safety by allowing minors as young as 11 years old to get vaccinated without their parent’s consent or knowledge.
Children’s Health Defense (CHD) and Parental Rights Foundation represented the four parents in the lawsuit, which was filed in a federal district court in the District of Columbia.
“The [law] is reckless, unconstitutional, and needlessly endangers children’s lives by stripping away parental protection and the protection of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986,” CHD president and general counsel Mary Holland said, referring to Washington’s Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act of 2020, which became effective in March.
The law allows children eleven years of age and older to take any vaccines—including COVID-19 vaccines—without parent’s consent or knowledge, if the vaccine has been recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the child is “capable of meeting the informed consent standard.”
“A minor shall be deemed to meet the informed consent standard if the minor is able to comprehend the need for, the nature of, and any significant risks ordinarily inherent in the medical care,” the law states. The complaint criticized the law as “placing that decision-making squarely in the hands of the government.”
The complaint (pdf) alleges Washington’s law deprives the plaintiffs of their constitutional right as parents to “direct the care and upbringing of their children” and the right to “freely exercise their religion.” It also alleges the law conflicts with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 and seeks an injunction to prevent Washington from enforcing the law.
Under Washington’s law, even a minor’s parent has applied a religious exemption for vaccines for the kid or has the kid opted out of the HPV vaccine, the minor can still choose to receive a vaccine, and the health care provider who administers the vaccination could leave a certain part of the immunization record “blank,” so the parents won’t find out.
BY LI HAI