Ohio GOP allows anti-vaxxers to advance effort for broad constitutional amendment banning medical mandates
If anti-vaxxers are successful, enshrined into the Ohio constitution will be a ban on any entity, including the state, requiring vaccinations – not only against COVID but against any of the 20 or so diseases the CDC recommends every person be inoculated against by their 18th birthday.
With the help of Republicans, anti-vaxxers are working to place a ballot initiative before voters next year that not only would ban medical mandates like vaccines, but would ban any medical requirements, and would make a private company’s choice to only serve those vaccinated against deadly diseases like COVID-19 illegal.
“If passed, Ohio would become the only state in the nation with an explicit ban of vaccine mandates in its constitution,” the Ohio Capital Journal reports. “It would mark a major step backward for public health, dampen an already sluggish COVID-19 vaccination effort in Ohio, and nix a practice of mandating vaccination that traces back through early American history.”
“The Ohio Ballot Board — a bipartisan panel controlled by Republicans — allowed organizers of the ‘Medical Right to Refuse’ amendment to begin gathering the 443,000 voters’ signatures required to place the referendum on a ballot. Organizers said they’re hoping to put the issue to voters in May 2023.”
The proposed ballot initiative to change Ohio’s constitution includes this passage:
“No law, rule, regulation, person, employer, entity, or healthcare provider shall require, mandate or coerce any person to receive or use a medical procedure, treatment, injection, vaccine, prophylactic, pharmaceutical, or medical device nor shall the aforementioned discriminate against the individual who exercises this right.”
That would mean parents would no longer be required to inoculate their school-aged children against any of the 20 or so diseases, some deadly, the CDC recommends vaccinations for, including polio, chickenpox, influenza, Hepatitis A and B, Rotavirus, diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), pertussis (whooping cough), Haemophilus influenzae type b, Streptococcus pneumonia, Measles, mumps, rubella, Human papillomavirus (HPV), Meningococcal Disease, Pneumococcal disease, Dengue fever, or COVID-19.
The proposed initiative also includes this crucial line: “An individual’s right to refuse any medical procedure, treatment, injection, vaccine, prophylactic, pharmaceutical, or medical device shall be absolute.”
The Ohio National Guard, local school districts, medical facilities, hospitals, laboratories, restaurants – any public or private employer would be unable to protect their staff by requiring vaccinations or masks.
Organizers will have to obtain at least 443,000 signatures to get the initiative on the ballot.