I’ve been writing letters to my legislators this week asking them to vote no on SB254. SB254 proposes to exclude children from school because of the beliefs of their parents.
SB 254 would remove philosophical and religious exemptions to vaccines.
So only children who were up to date on every vaccine would have access to education in Oregon.
You can read the bill in its entirety here.
Children who are missing just one immunization, and this includes hepatitis B and chickenpox, would not only be excluded from school, they would also be excluded from in person meetings, events, and other extracurricular activities.
My heart hurts.
Excluding children from an education because we disagree with the beliefs of their parents is wrong.
Write and call your state senator today. Ask him or her to vote no on SB254.
How to write a letter to a lawmaker: 5 easy steps
Identify who you are
Let them know if you are a constituent of theirs. Tell them something about yourself (“I am a nurse practitioner with ten years of experience,” or “I am the father of two special needs children,” or “I am a small business owner in Oregon and I employ seven people.”)
Thank them for their service to our state
Our lawmakers care deeply about our state. They are all doing their best. Even when we disagree with them we need to acknowledge their hard work.
Ask them to vote no on SB254
This should also be the subject heading of your email. Ask them to vote no on SB254.
Tell them why you believe SB254 is a bill that’s bad for Oregon’s children
There are so many reasons why this bill is harmful. It discriminates against religious minorities. Families who belong to the Church of Christ, Scientist, often do not vaccinate, preferring to put their trust in God. Many Catholics and other Christians choose not to take vaccines made with cell lines grown from aborted fetal tissue. People who are vegan and against cruelty to animals often reject the vaccines that contain animal products. Many Jewish people choose to forego the vaccines that contain porcine gelatin. Medical decisions are best made in the privacy of a doctor’s office, not in the state legislature. And there should not be one size fits all medicine, especially when it comes to a for-profit intervention that benefits a multi-billion dollar industry. In addition, there are also many legitimate science-based concerns now about the current vaccination schedule. Which is why many of the most educated parents, including doctors, business owners, and lawyers, choose to delay some vaccines. Instead of trying to force these parents to vaccinate, shouldn’t we be listening and paying attention to their concerns?
Leave your contact information and then follow up
After you email and snail mail your letter, it’s important to follow up. Call your legislators’ offices to make sure they received your letter. Tell them who you are and that you oppose SB254.
When you write or call your legislature to urge them to vote no on SB254, please remember to:
Be polite: You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Don’t insult your legislator.
Be professional: Make sure you spellcheck your letter and use correct grammar.
Be willing to listen: As strongly as you may feel about any issue, No on SB254 or any other bill, it’s important to be willing to listen to lawmakers’ concerns and to be open to changing your mind. After all, the purpose of your letter is to change theirs.
Be short: Lawmakers are busy, as are their aides. Shorter letters that are clear and to the point are more helpful than letters that go on for pages and pages.
Be credible: Now is not the time to be farfetched and out there. Meet people where they are right now not where you wish they would be. Don’t give them a reason to dismiss you or question your credibility.
Be persistent: Keep writing and calling until you get an answer. Our legislators work for us. As busy as they are (see “Be short,”) it’s their job to make time to talk to us.
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