Unionport meeting centers on bills that would require vaccination without parent consent

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Parents gathered in Unionport Sunday to discuss bills currently under consideration by state lawmakers that would allow children under 18 to receive vaccines without parental consent.

Although some of the parents now home-school their children after the religious exemption was removed, they say they are not promoting an anti-vaccine stance. Instead, they say they are working to inform other parents that the bills include language that removes parental consent.

Organizer Sharen Medrano said many parents do not know about this and that the meeting at the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church is a form of service to bring the information to the community.

"Parental consent is very important. I think any medication that a child receives, a parent should be aware of it," Medrano emphasized.

Ohio teenager Ethan Lindenberger made national headlines last year after going against his mother's wishes by getting vaccinated. He testified before Congress about how she believed online conspiracy theories that claim vaccines are dangerous. He said after doing his own research, getting information from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, he got vaccinated once he turned 18.

The American Academy of Pediatrics welcomes the new bill. It said in a statement to Newsweek, "Young people are often more conscious about the misinformation on the internet and can in many cases disagree with parents who have bought into unfounded and dangerous anti-immunization diatribes and pseudoscience. These young people have a right to protect themselves."

Many of the bills are still in the committee status and have a few steps to go before a final decision is made.

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