vaccination exemption in NM gets tougher! The language has changed, and the philosophical exemption has disappeared! - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-20-2012, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Either the NM law regarding exemptions has changed, or somebody mighty scared of chickenpox gave it "another interpretation", but now there is no philosophical exemption, plus you have to formulate and write down your religious reasons if you claim a religious exemption. The language used is not for the faint of heart! 

 

http://www.immunizenm.org/sched.shtml#exemptions

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Old 07-26-2012, 01:57 PM
 
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I just came on here to see if anyone has any ideas on what to do. 

We don't have religious reasons per se, but we cannot go back and vaccinate my children as they have passed the ages for it.  We delay and selected some of the vaccines.  I am not that eager to vaccinate against chicken pox, hep B, and a few others. My doc has said he will not sign anything. What do we do?
 


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Old 07-27-2012, 11:43 AM
 
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Your spirtual belief is your own.  If you believe that vaccinated your child or chilren will do them harm then that is your personal belief.  The 1st ammendment of the constitution protects your right to worship freely in whatever your beliefs are.

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Old 07-28-2012, 10:33 PM
 
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I would seriously be all over my elected officials demanding an explanation and a repeal.* Unelected* officials at your health department apparently have the power to do this, and that power needs to be stripped from them!

If your religious exemption is denied, (yes! Amendment Numero Uno applies to you only if unelected bureaucrats approve...eyesroll.gif) you can either succumb to these bullies and get the vaxes or get ready to homeschool. I'm not a New Mexican, so this isn't my battle to fight. But I still urge you to get angry and get active!

Are you lurking, Peggy O'Mara? You're a New Mexican. What's your take on this???

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Old 07-30-2012, 12:04 AM
 
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Has anyone wrote one of these letters yet?  Is it better to be very vague, or am I supposed to get detailed as to my religious beliefs and how they prevent me from vaxing?

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Old 08-05-2012, 05:51 PM
 
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Yikes.  I just got online to print out the exemption form for my 2 year old, who will return to daycare in two weeks when I return to teaching, but I see that the form has changed and now I cannot use personal or philosophical objections and I have to specify my religious beliefs.  I have the same questions everyone else happened.  1. What do I do -- be vague or draft some very specific claim that my individually held religious beliefs do not allow for  . . .  ?  What have others done?  Has anyone had their exemption rejected?  I live in Santa Fe and I am far from being the only non-vaxing mom around, so there have to be a lot of us suddenly running into this.  Even if I did suddenly feel O.K. about doing all vaxes (which I don't), I couldn't possibly catch my son up in the next two weeks. 

 

2  .  How did this happen?  I would have thought in a small, fairly alternative community like this I would have heard some uproar about it, but this is the first I've known about it. 

 

Thanks for any input.

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Old 08-21-2012, 09:25 AM
 
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I am a former user of these forums, but jumped off several years ago due to a very busy life. Anyway, I'm back and it's this subject that brought me here. I cant believe there isn't an absolute uproar all over this state. I'm not a constitutional lawyer, but it seems obviously unconstitutional for the state to ask you your religious beliefs and then to approve or deny their validity. I have one child in public school and they haven't demanded this form from me yet. But, I know they will sooner or later. I'm not so worried about my homeschooled kids, but even homeschoolers in NM need to be aware that technically these forms are supposed to be in your files.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:53 PM
 
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Well, we filled out the form with a simple explanation and got denied.  Our appeal is a longer letter describing in detail how this is against our beliefs.  Fingers crossed. or something. I an interested in what others experience is/ has been.
 


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Old 08-21-2012, 01:45 PM
 
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mntnmomma- we were required to submit our vaccine record or expemtion from when we registered for public school.... they made it would like kind of a big deal that we hadn't heard back from santa fe yet.  What city are you in?

 

mamaderumi- i am with you. How did this happen? i have a friend that sent hers in in July and it was approved under concientious objection.... but i don't know what other people are doing.


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Old 08-21-2012, 01:46 PM
 
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Can you share what you wrote initially that was denied?

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Old 08-21-2012, 01:49 PM
 
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My son goes to a high school in Angel Fire (east of Taos).  I know there are a lot of non-vaccinating families in our state.  I wonder when this is going to get contentious.

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Old 08-21-2012, 08:38 PM
 
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The bible teaches that the parents are entrusted with the care and welfare of the child. (1 Timothy 5:8) Parents not the state are responsible to make health care decisions on behalf of their children.

 

My appeal was worded MUCH more strongly.
 


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Old 08-22-2012, 09:09 AM
 
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I have sent in my exemption, and had it approved.  I also emailed a few of our state officials.  Today I got a response back that the exemption change was not something that was voted on, but instead came from the Health dept, and that the health department would email me back answering my questions about the change.

 

*Edited to add*  There were over 3000 philosophical exemptions last school year.  That's a large number of families that need to stand up and fight this... What happens when the health department decides we shouldn't have freedom of religion either, since it doesn't seem that it would have to be voted on in the state to change the exemption process.

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Old 08-22-2012, 09:21 AM
 
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Congratulations on getting approved. Would you mind sharing what you wrote? 

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Old 08-22-2012, 09:32 AM
 
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This is not word for word... but I basically said Our bodies were made perfect in God's image and because our bodies were made to be temples, the injection of any foreign substance goes against my religious beliefs.  God is the only source of protection that we accept as a family.

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Old 08-22-2012, 09:41 AM
 
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I chose to be as vague as possible when writing mine.  From what I read about religious exemptions in other states, for some states you have to be very vague so that you are not associated with a "mainstream" religion because none of them actually prohibit the use of vaccines. 

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Old 08-22-2012, 05:04 PM
 
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I came on here to see what everyone else was writing. I filed mine back in July and it just got sent back because I had used the wrong form. I guess they changed it right after I printed it. I love what you said ButtersJCat, but my daughter has had her DTaP and Polio vaccines so I don't think that will work for us. When she registered for school I gave them a copy of the old form and I'm kind of hoping they won't notice and I won't have to deal with this until next year.


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Old 08-23-2012, 07:54 AM
 
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Lisanne - It should still work for you.  Even though you have vaccinated some, your religious beliefs are allowed to change over time.  If you are questioned... Your religious beliefs have changed since you vaccinated, and presently your beliefs prevent you from vaccinating further.

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Old 08-27-2012, 12:39 PM
 
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I'm a reporter at The Santa Fe New Mexican.I'm looking for sources who have had their religious exemption based requests denied.  If you have, and are wiling to talk please call or write me at [email protected] or 986-3068. 

Thanks,

Phaedra

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Old 08-29-2012, 02:27 PM
 
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My name is Phaedra Haywood. I'm a reporter at The Santa Fe New Mexican. I wrote a story that published today about the form change. I am seeking parents on either side of the issue who would be willing to be go on record with their stories/opinions. Please contact me if you are interested. (505) 986-3068 or [email protected] Thank you!

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Old 09-06-2012, 02:15 PM
 
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This is making me crazy. I heard about it last week on the radio and plan to call the NM Dept of Health as a reporter and ask questions about the new policy with the intention of blogging about it. I don't see how the Department of Health can change the policy by just changing the form. I used the form for many years while my children were school age so know that NM has had a philosophical exemption in practice, if not in law, for a long time. So, first I want to know how such a big change from years of precedent can be made WITHOUT public comment.

 

I understand from a friend at the Dept of Health that there have been a lot of shakeups there recently and I wonder how much this change is politically motivated. I'm thinking it would be a good idea to talk to Brian Egoff, one of our state legislators about getting the philosophical exemption back legally but first I want to see the actual law and talk to the Dept of Health and figure out more how this has transpired.

 

I've also been thinking about starting a FB page for New Mexicans for Vaccine Choice. Do you all like this idea? Would you support it? Seems like we need to organize to get our rights back. Tell me if you're in.

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Old 09-06-2012, 02:40 PM
 
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Here is a link to the ACTUAL LAW. Below are two salient paragraphs. Read the whole law.

 

      B.           Exemption by certification of religious objection: A parent or guardian who cannot obtain an affidavit from an officer of a recognized denomination as described in Section 7-1 [sic], but whose religious beliefs, held either individually or jointly with others, do not permit the administration of vaccine or other immunizing agents, may apply for an exemption from immunization by submitting a certificate of conscientious objection to immunization.

 

 

              H.          Every parent or guardian of a child whose claim on behalf of that child for religious exemption from the student immunization requirements is disapproved by the director of the public division shall have the right to pursue an administrative appeal from such disapproval. The manner and method of administrative appeal shall be determined by the secretary of the New Mexico department of health.

[01/14/76, 10/31/96; Recompiled 10/31/01]

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Old 09-07-2012, 10:25 AM
 
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Peggy -

 

Glad you are tuning in to this!

Please also check out this other thread here on MDC: 

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1359175/policy-change-in-new-mexico

 

and be sure to notice the facebook group already cooking along which might serve the purpose you are considering:

 

"New Mexicans for Parental Rights, Healthcare Freedom and Informed Vaccine C"

 

I especially appreciate Halo's well researched contributions, and I think her point that the law or policy itself has not changed per se is crucial in any arguments that are raised in a public forum.


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Old 09-07-2012, 04:48 PM
 
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Thanks so much. I just posted on the other thread. Halo has done a great job. Maybe we should all get together.

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Old 09-07-2012, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really do wonder if that backward change in policy won't even "worsen" the situation the Dept of Health set out to "right" by the principle of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". I am curious to see if they really manage to intimidate significant numbers of families, as opposed to hardening them into absolute non-vaccinating resolutions. I already know 2 families that used to vaccinate selectively for such things as perhaps DTap and Polio, but say they no longer will, as the current situation has become either you take all compulsory vaccines, or none. That, and a lot of so far compliant parents are becoming aware of the fact that they can indeed request an exemption (and there are a lot who do not know that they can). In 1999, there were obviously fewer required vaccines, so more parents were complying. As they add on sillier and more controversial vaccines to their list of requirements, it is little wonder they see growth in the number of exemption requests. How they assess religious reasons though, would be very curious to find out. Do they use trained coders and have lists of "valid" and "non-valid" beliefs? It'd be interesting to know.

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Old 09-12-2012, 03:34 PM
 
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please consider joining the conversation over in a google group (esp for those who don't want to join facebook). 

 

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/new-mexico-parental-rights


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Old 07-30-2013, 02:19 PM
 
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I wonder if you mama's wouldn't mind letting us know what you wrote when you were either approved or denied so we can write our own along the same lines?? This new 'rule' does not seem lawful and it seems with the numbers of families in NM that don't vaccinate that we could rally to overturn it....

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Old 08-07-2013, 09:33 AM
 
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The nurse at my doctor's office has just informed me that the health dept. in Santa Fe has done away with the religious exemption.  According to her, this was communicated by the state as a done-deal, in a training she attended a month ago. 

 

This is interesting because I haven't heard/seen this in the news, and I am involved in a pretty liberal community.  NO exemption at all would cause quite an uproar.  

 

If it is true, I suspect the ruling will get challenged, but not soon enough, as school starts next week.

 

I scoured recent publications, and still found nothing recent.  Can anyone corroborate what the nurse said, or have any other info on the topic?

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Old 08-07-2013, 09:49 AM
 
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To clarify: The nurse mentioned that the only allowed exemption would be medical (signed by a doctor).  But no religious exemption.  (Much less personal or philosophical, which were done away with a year ago.)

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Old 08-07-2013, 12:46 PM
 
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I'm in Santa Fe and my religious exemption was approved recently.  I think your nurse had some misinformation. 
 

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