Originally Sent: 3/18/2015

From the HSLDA e-lert service…
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Call to Protect Religious Freedom in Vaccination

Homeschooling in New Jersey.

Please call your state senator.

Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members with legal issues in your state. He and his wife homeschooled their children.

Dear New Jersey Members and Friends,

A bill could be voted on any day that would add a huge amount of wasteful red tape to the simple process of claiming an exemption from immunization based on one’s exercise of faith.

Current New Jersey law allows for an exemption based on a simple written statement that the immunization interferes with the free exercise of religion. Senate Bill 1147 deletes this simple, effective system and replaces it, in effect, with a demand for a long essay explaining one’s faith.

Senate Bill 1147 also gives the Commissioner of Health power to enact regulations. Those regulations will doubtlessly add even more red tape to the simple exercise of faith.

Action Requested

Please call your New Jersey state senator. Your message can be as simple as: “Please vote NO on S1147. The freedom to exercise one’s religion in the area of immunizations must be protected, not burdened with wasteful red tape.”

It is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler since this affects all parents.

Use this link to find who your state senator is and how to contact him.


S 1147 requires that parents who have religious objections to immunizations must submit a signed, sworn statement explaining:

  1. The nature of the person’s religious tenet or practice that is implicated by the vaccination;
  2. How administration of the vaccine would violate, contradict, or otherwise be inconsistent with that tenet or practice;
  3. Information that indicates that the religious tenet or practice is consistently held by the person, which may include, but need not be limited to, expression of the person’s intent to decline any vaccination;
  4. A statement that the religious tenet or practice is not solely an expression of that person’s political, sociological, philosophical, or moral views;
  5. A statement that the objection is not based merely on doubt as to the safety or efficacy;
  6. A statement that the person understands the risks and benefits of vaccination to the student and the public health;
  7. A statement that acknowledges that the student may be excluded from attendance at the student’s preschool, school, or institution of higher education if the Commissioner of Health orders unvaccinated persons to be excluded during a disease outbreak.

The impact on the homeschool community will be small for minor children, since the sanction for not being vaccinated is exclusion from school. However, the child could be excluded from college attendance if an exemption in compliance with the regulations is not on file.

The bill has already emerged from senate committee. It could be brought up for a vote on the floor of the Senate at any time.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!


Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

• • • •

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