Maine Becomes the 4th State in the Union to Fail to Offer Religious and Philosophical Vaccine Exemptions Beginning in 2021
by Ginger Taylor, MS
Today Governor Janet Mills, after promising Mainers that she would protect their exemptions, signed LD 798, "An Act To Protect Maine Children and Students from Preventable Diseases by Repealing Certain Exemptions from the Laws Governing Immunization Requirements."
The new law removes religious and philosophical vaccine exemptions from everywhere in Maine law. Children will lose the right to attend daycare, preschool, and k-12, if they do not comply with Maine's vaccine mandates. The measure applies to both public and private school, and will apply even to children with IEPs or 504s.
In addition, adults will no longer be allowed to attend colleges, universities or trade schools, and health care practitioners will loose their jobs, if they do not vaccinate according to Maine law.
Legislators have noted that in their tenure in the Maine Legislature they have never encountered a stronger public outcry against a bill, and opponents inside and outside the lawmaking body have vowed to continue to fight against forced vaccinations in Maine.
The crowd of Mainers gathered at the Maine State House for the final vote chanted, "WE WILL NOT CONSENT!"
The new measure will not go into effect until September of 2021, giving Mainers two years to challenge the law, and even elect a new legislature to repeal the LD 798.