New Jersey Senate Cancels Vote for Bill That Would End Religious Exemptions to Vaccines After Protests

New Jersey’s Senate abandoned efforts to pass a bill Monday that would end religious exemptions to vaccine requirements for some 14,000 students enrolled in public or private schools across the state after hundreds of protesters showed up at the statehouse.

“They can cheer all they want. We’re not walking away from it,” Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney insisted after protesters cheered when the Senate adjourned without voting on the bill Monday, according to The New York Times.

“It’s just remarkable how people are looking at this and not trusting the science on it at all. They’re trusting the internet,” he added.

Sen. Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, was one vote short of passing the bill (A3818), which would allow only children with verified medical conditions to be exempt from vaccine laws, NJ.com reported. Others like Sen. Joseph Lagana, D-Bergen, said he could not vote yes because it is “just too personal for me.”

The Democrat-led Assembly passed the bill 45-25, with six abstentions, NBC10 reported, but the Democrat-controlled Senate had to abandon their scheduled vote due to loud chants from opponents who shouted “We do not consent,” and “In God we trust.”

If the bill becomes law, New Jersey would join just a few other states such as New York and California, to remove religious exemptions for vaccines, NBC10 said. Currently, about 45 states and the District of Columbia allow for religious exemptions for vaccines.

The push to remove religious exemptions for vaccines in New Jersey emerged in 2019 after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the state reported its greatest number of measles cases since 1992.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair