A Clinton Administration mandatory vaccination proposal which posed a substantial threat to family privacy and parental rights was thwarted by Congressional decision-makers, who removed the more dangerous elements of the proposal from the Clinton Budget Reconciliation Act. In its original form, as proposed by Senator Ted Kennedy [D-MA], the Comprehensive Child Immunization Act would have created a federal vaccine mandate for all children, backed up by a national child registry and computer tracking system. The registry could have been used as a criminal enforcement mechanism against parents who choose to withhold certain vaccines from their children because they have cautions about the safety of the vaccines.
On April 6, 1993, Michael Farris, President of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), called an emergency meeting of pro-family organizations to mount an organized opposition to the proposed “tracking and surveillance” of American children. Organizations like Concerned Women for America, the National Vaccine Information Center, the American Association of Christian Schools, the Free Congress Foundation, and Christian Coalition joined HSLDA in opposing the mandatory vaccination and child registration proposals.
The home school community mounted a massive response to this threat to the sanctity of the home. The National Center for Home Education launched on April 17 and July 20, through its FAX alert network, nationwide telephone blitzes of Congress. The National Center’s Congressional Action Program dispatched 35 teams of trained, home school parents to follow-up on the telephone blitz by visiting the offices of over 200 key congressmen. The home school volunteers who visited the offices reported that most Congressmen were surprised to learn that a registry of children would be of concern to parents. Capitol Coordinator Timothy Brown noted: "We were the first to voice any concern to the Congressmen about the immunization program."
Despite the deletion of the more offensive portions of the vaccination proposal from the budget bill, the registry and tracking elements may not be gone forever. According to Capitol Hill sources, Senator Ted Kennedy will attempt to reintroduce his proposal as a separate bill, or as part of the Clinton health care package.
Many thanks to all of you who played a vital role in mobilizing home schoolers to fight against this dangerous threat to parental rights and family privacy. The Lord is gracious and merciful!