How Congress Can Help
November 14, 2002
Defend the Homeland and
Secure Our Civil Liberties
Are you ready for forced vaccinations? Without your informed consent? Against your objection? This outrageous scenario would be permitted under a fast-moving federal bill granting dictatorial powers to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a newly revised Homeland Security bill (H.R. 5710) on November 13, 2002. (Members of Congress and the public had only hours to read and study the newly revised 484-page bill.) The Senate is expected to vote on it shortly. If signed by the President, the new law could strip Americans of their precious health freedomthe freedom to decide what medical treatments and risks they will accept for themselves and their children.
How to Defend Our Homeland and Freedoms
What can the Senate and President Bush do to ensure our federal and state governments have the tools necessary to defend our homeland and protect us against bioterrorism, without stripping citizens of their civil libertiesspecifically their health freedoms?
Our national leaders should make sure that any new federal or state policies include the following for every citizen:
Clearly, with this freedom comes significant responsibility. Citizens identified as carrying communicable diseases may be subjected to quarantine in order to prevent the spreading of disease. However, non-infected persons who exercise their freedom of conscience, religion, or medical judgment to refuse vaccination or treatment should not be quarantined with those who are contagious.
- Conscientious belief exemption (freedom of conscience): No citizen should be forced to accept medical treatments contrary to one's own conscience. Furthermore, medical and other practitioners should not be forced to carry out state orders contrary to a practitioner's conscience.
- Religious exemption (freedom of religion): No citizen should be forced to receive medical treatments contrary to one's own religious beliefs. For example, pro-life advocates should not be forced to accept a vaccine manufactured from fetal tissue.
- Medical exemption: No citizen should be forced to receive medical treatments contrary to their own physician's or other health care provider's individual professional judgment.
The choice regarding vaccination and medical treatments should be up to individualsnot a federal political appointee.
You can't defend freedom by eliminating it. Let's maintain our precious health freedoms while strongly defending the homeland.