We have a healthy granddaughter ready to start kindergarten, whose mother has no intention of vaccinating.
There must be people organizing to protest this law. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
From that link:
"the child’s parent/guardian must complete the Certificate of Religious Exemption Form. The form requires a statement of the religious reasons for requesting to have a child exempted from immunization."
So if your daughter follows those instructions, I don't think she'll have a big problem enrolling her daughter in school. Anyone, regardless of church affiliation (or none at all), can have a personal religious belief against vaccination.
Are you sure this is a recent change in the law? I haven't heard anything about New Mexico losing a philosophical exemption recently.
Has anyone in New Mexico sent this form in yet? I'm wondering whether it is better to be vague or to try to formulate some more specific individually held religious belief. (i.e., my individually held religious belief does not allow me to inject potentially harmful substances into my child.).
Also, it used to be the case that you could either bring the form in and get it approved right then, or you could mail the form in. Now it seems they only want you to mail it in, and it could take 60 days to hear back from them. Day care starts in less than two weeks, so . . . . .
any other new mexican moms out there?
Whoops, I just missed the most important part. b) complete the Certificate of Religious Exemption Form. The form requires a statement of the religious reasons for requesting to have a child exempted from immunization.
I am not sure what I will say but I am going to submit mine on Monday and will update when the state approves.
good morning ladies,
i was searching last night for any news articles about this (shocker, i found none) and ran across your thread. i think i can help. there are a few of us non-vax'ing NM moms on facebook that have been discussing the same problem.
at least one of us has submitted the new form with a very vague statement and it was approved. this is the statement:
"As the parent of (insert name of child) my religious beliefs, held either individually or jointly with others, does not permit the administration of vaccine or other immunizing agents to my child."
yes, you will notice it merely regurgitates the instruction statement on the form. at this point, i'm in the "whatever floats your boat" category.
other statements i have considered:
"The 1st amendment of the constitution of the united states allows me freedom of religion. the state of NM, therefore, does not have the authority to question my religious choices. Based upon my own religious beliefs, I object to and will not allow the administration of any vaccinating agent to my child."
"I believe in inspiration and personal revelation for all major life decisions, including medical. A decision for one person will not have the identical outcome for the next. Since at this point, no one knows all the reasons why people have bad reactions to vaccines, there is no way to know if my family members will be damaged by the program. I must depend on my personal prayer and meditation to come to a decision for my family. The decision may be different for each family member, or might change over time if their health status changes. It all depends on what I feel in my heart after sincere communication with God."
there is precedent in Florida for the state not having the authority to question you about your beliefs. and the supreme court ruled that in cases such as this atheism and agnosticism both qualify as a religion. i'm sort of partial to the 1st amendment one, but i did consider the personal inspiration one, too. i don't have a problem considering research and inner reflection "prayer and meditation." and it leaves you open to a different circumstance for each vaccine and each child.
if you'd like to find us over on FB the group is "Responses to Medical Professionals Against Vaccines." it was started as a place for us to craft responses to MDs who write biased articles for the paper and also as a place to find support with like-minded moms. we try to limit the amount of spam and "preaching to the choir" that goes on, and we try to keep it relevant to NM.
we are trying to get a meeting with the State Ombudsman (liaison between state agencies and citizens) through the Lt. Gov's office to discuss. (i can post the info when we have a date/time, maybe you'd like to try to join us?) i know it is an election year for all the legislators, but you can and should contact your legislators to voice your concern and dismay and displeasure.
this is not a change in the actual law. the language is the same now as it was last year. this is a change in the interpretation of the law. from what we can tell it has come from the Dept of Health. we are trying to find out if it comes from higher up or from someone specifically. basically, they are pushing. we have the right to push back. we have the right to ask our legislators to push back on our behalf. we have the right to call the Governor's office as well as our own elected legislators. please, make yourself heard.
to my knowledge, they did not inform anyone of this change before doing it. no news agencies. (you are welcome to contact them, but beware of the backlash where we are vilified for not vax'ing). no doctors. no schools. not even direct contact, and you know they have your address because they get it every year with the form you turn in. they are trying to slip it in and hope no one complains. i don't plan on letting that happen. they are also *hoping* this will scare some parents enough to make them get the vaccinations. "i don't have a strictly religious reason, i guess i can't opt out anymore." but that isn't actually true. the law still says, "my religious beliefs held either individually or jointly with others." that still allows for a personal reason. you just have to be willing to call it a religious belief.
hope this helps.
I'm willing to bet the laws have changed b/c pertussis has made a come back. A coworker of mine has had it since April. She's been quite ill and i can't imagine a child getting it. There have been times she thought she was going to die......similar to having a serious asthma attack. Anyway, I'm in a conundrum b/c I've partially vaccinated my daughter, since she has traveled to India. She is not at risk for Hep B so that is the one I'm refusing to have given to her. Trying to figure out how to claim religious objection to this. I'm a nurse and it took me 20 years to surrender to getting the Hep B vax, and that was after a needle stick from a pt. with liver illness. I'm even planning to get a pertussis vax for myself. Any ideas on partially objecting to the vax with this new NM law? I may just ignore it, and if it catches up to me I'll meet with the administration of DOH. Can imagine the headlines: "Student expelled from school for lack of Hep B vax?"
@gaiatree, they didn't change the law. it is the exact same now as it was last year. you can still try to use their words with a slight tweak, "My beliefs, held individually or jointly with others, allow me as a parent to choose the vaccines that I feel are most appropriate for my child." or you can do what others have done, fill in all of the bubbles on the form (as if you object to all vaccines), use the approved phrase ("My religious beliefs, held either individually or jointly by others, do not permit the administration of vaccine or other immunizing agents."), and don't give them anything to question or doubt or refuse. just because you have signed a form saying you object to vax doesn't mean you can't vax in whatever way you choose.
this document could have a big role in the new restrictions: http://nmhealth.org/erd/healthdata/documents/ER%20Vaccination%20Exemption%20050112.pdf
@jldumm, were you denied already?? i'm wondering what statement you put on the form, or was it the old one?
also, i don't think there is anything saying you MUST appeal as opposed to simply resubmitting. worth a shot to not argue about it?
remember, this is the phrase that has worked for more than one person so far: "My religious beliefs, held either individually or jointly by others, do not permit the administration of vaccine or other immunizing agents."
Hi, I'm excited to find others in NM that feel the same way about vaccinations. I have used the exemption for 6 years and when I saw the new form I was quite dismayed. Is this the start of abolishing the exemption altogether, I wonder? I, too, will try to hook up on Facebook, but will need to open an account. I have actually avoided getting caught up in Facebook. My exemption was approved, thank the Lord, but I sure did a lot of praying!!
Here's an article on the change in the form that appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican today, (8-29-12). http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/082812vaccines
Seems rather arbitrary. I assume the pharmaceutical industrial complex has suggested this change, via Governor Martinez.
This issue in New Mexico has ebbed and flowed through the decades. In the early days of refusing or delaying vaccination, many parents made statements such as, "it is my God given right as a parent to make all health decisions which I believe are in the best interest of my child."
The state does not have the right to make people explicitly state religious beliefs for them to judge as valid or invalid. This would violate the US Constitution and the separation of church and state. Atheists should have the same right to make health decisions as believers in a state-deemed-valid religion.
It is pretty sad to see public health officials resuscitate the consistently dis-proven theory of herd immunity as the reason to vaccinate all children on the same schedule rather than seeing children as individuals. Despite an immunization schedule of 7 vaccinations of children by age 1 and additional vaccinations added with age, the US is 37 in the world for overall health status. Many of the re-vaccinations for older children are a result of the failure of earlier vaccine promises of lifetime immunity.
As USA Today editorialized last year:
"Twenty years ago, the United States was doing better than countries such as Poland and Estonia in keeping newborn babies alive. Not any more. As other nations improved this key indicator of women's and infants' health, the U.S. lagged, dropping to 41st worldwide in newborn death rates, behind these three countries and 37 more. That this is happening in a nation that spends far more per person on health care than any other is puzzling and shameful."
Addressing poverty, food, housing and income insecurity would do much to reduce illness in children and reduce death rates in the first year of life.
The statute that governs the immunization exemption laws in NM has been in effect since 1953. It was re-enacted in 1975. Since that time the law has been clear - the state of New Mexico only allows for two types of exemption to the immunization requirement. Either a medical one or a religious one. The legislators who reenacted the statute in 1975 acknowledged that many personal or moral beliefs might existed among parents/guardians, but the statute is not recognizing any belief that is not based on religious grounds.
The religious exemption works in one of two ways. Regardless, the central issue is "accessibility." The first way applies if the parent or guardian is a member of a church whose religious ideas rely on "prayer and spiritual means alone for healing." If they are a member, then they may access an officer of their church and ask him or her to write an affidavit (letter) on their behalf stating that the parents/guardians are members of the church, and that the church solely teaches the tenets of prayer and other spirituals means to heal. Once in hand, the parents take the affidavit to the school where their child is enrolling, presents it to the nurse or other school officials, and upon acceptance have filed a valid exemption. They are considered to be in compliance with the law.
The second way applies to parents and guardians, for whatever reason, are NOT members of a church, but who share the same religious beliefs as those who are. Because they don't have access to a church officer, the legislators believed that it was in keeping with the Constitution of the United States to give them an equal opportunity to request to be exempted from the law. Since they could not get an affidavit, a form had to be created. Thus, NM has the Certificate of Religious Form. The old name of the form was Certificate of Exemption, because originally the legislators believed that only people with religious reasons would use the form to file a request for exemption. But, the presumption that the form was only being used by people with religious reasons faded over the years. People began to use it for non-religious reasons. So the form was recently modified to align it with the law, which permits religious (and not philosophical or personal beliefs.) The Certificate of Religious Exemption form goes to the state's health department to be processed. A statement from the parent or guardian is required in order to filter out requests based on philosophical or personal beliefs.
The medical exemption works like the first way of the religious exemption. The medical exemption requires the parent to speak to their physician. They should ask him or her to write a letter on their behalf stating that because of some health condition of the child, a vaccine or all vaccines "would seriously endanger the life or health of the child." Again, once in hand, they take that physician's letter to the school in which their child is enrolling, and upon acceptance by the school, have filed a valid exemption in the state of NM, and are in compliance with the law.