June 19, 2019

New York State Repeal of the Religious Exemption to Vaccination


The New York State repeal of the religious exemption to vaccination violates many rights that New Yorkers hold dear. It tramples the fundamental rights of New Yorkers to religious freedom, parental rights and the right to education. It also violates the core principle of harm avoidance that is embedded in federal law permitting state vaccine mandates. Medical exemptions for vulnerable children effectively no longer exist in New York. In particular, the new law violates the rights of special needs children with Individualized Educational Plans and 504 Plans, who have well-recognized federal rights to a Free and Appropriate Public Education.

Children’s Health Defense (CHD) has pulled together a team of lawyers who, along with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., will challenge the repeal on all of the grounds above. We are working with a team of leading New York lawyers to prepare and file lawsuits as soon as possible. Our aim is to prevent the law from going fully into effect on July 14. It is not wise or beneficial to file lawsuits prematurely before exhaustive research has been done. CHD will work with others to ensure that the cases filed are as likely to succeed as possible.

We recognize that families are panic-stricken. CHD is doing everything in our power to reverse this draconian law so that all New Yorkers may continue to enjoy their rights to religious expression, parental rights, and an education. We will be providing more specific information soon. But we can’t do this without your help! Please consider making a donation to support our NYS litigation efforts. You can donate here and earmark your donation by selecting “NYS Litigation” in the drop down menu.

Thank you!

The Children’s Health Defense Team

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