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Parents File Lawsuit against Washington D.C. over Law Allowing Officials to Vaccinate Children without Parental Consent

Parents File Lawsuit against Washington D.C. over Law Allowing Officials to Vaccinate Children without Parental Consent

Parents in Washington, D.C., are suing the District over a new law that allows officials to vaccinate children in public schools without parental consent.

According to The Christian Post, the parents say they have a religious objection to the "Minor Consent to Vaccinations Act of 2020," which was passed into law in November and went into effect in March.

The law allows children ages 11 and older to decide to receive a vaccination if they are deemed "capable of meeting the informed consent standard" and "able to comprehend … significant risks ordinarily inherent in the medical care."

The law also allows insurance providers to seek reimbursement for the vaccination without parental consent, and insurance companies do not have to provide an "Explanation of Benefits," which would give the vaccination details.

Four parents filed suit with support from the Children's Health Defense and the Parental Rights Foundation.

"The D.C. Act is reckless, unconstitutional, and needlessly endangers children's lives by stripping away parental protection and the protection of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986," said Mary Holland, president and general counsel of the Children's Health Defense, in a statement.

"The Minor Consent Act subverts the right and duty of parents to make informed decisions about whether their children should receive vaccinations, by both depriving them of the opportunity to make those decisions and by concealing from parents that their children have been asked to consent to vaccinations or may have indeed been vaccinated."

District of Columbia Public Schools are not requiring the COVID-19 vaccination to enroll, but the district could vaccinate eligible students for COVID-19 under the new law.

In May, Lewis Ferebee, chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools, sent an email to parents saying it was their "responsibility" to get vaccinated if they wanted to see their children back in school classrooms.

"If you want to see students back in school, then it is our responsibility as a community for everyone to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it's available to them. We are collaborating with local health officials to host vaccination clinics at our schools," the email said.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Karl Tapales

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.