2021 | Week of February 1 | Radio Transcript #1397
Universal vaccine talk sounds like something out of George Orwell’s 1984. Calling the development of the COVID-19 vaccine Operation Warp Speed doesn’t help, in my opinion. It’s all surreal, but it’s the reality in which we live as we continue to deal with this virus.
Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is available, talk of mandating the vaccine has been swirling—from the federal level right down to the state and local levels. Individuals are scrambling to get informed so that they can make a knowledgeable decision for themselves about whether to have the vaccine or not. Parents are looking for help as they consider what they want to do for themselves and their children.
At the outset I want to clarify that organizationally, we take no position on whether an individual should or should not take the COVID vaccine or any other vaccine for that matter. We believe that is an individual decision that should be made after careful research and consultation with one’s medical providers.
The foregoing notwithstanding, we will always fight for people to have the freedom to choose for themselves whether or not they take a vaccine—any vaccine, including for COVID.
Currently, Wisconsin law allows for three exemption for vaccines: personal conviction, medical and religious. These exemptions are generally related to school situations—and up until COVID we haven’t had public discussions about the entire population being vaccinated. It’s not unreasonable to think that the exemptions should be available to any individual, but to the best of my knowledge, I don’t know of any court case that has tested that extension.
With the idea of a COVID vaccine mandate kind of out there as the sword of Damocles right nw, our state legislature is considering bills that would prohibit various entities from mandating any COVID-19 vaccination.
Both the Assembly and the Senate have stand-alone bills dealing with this matter. Senate Bill 4 and its companion Assembly Bill 23 prohibit the state Department of Health Services and local health officials from requiring that people have the COVID-19 vaccine. Senate Bill 5 and its Assembly companion Assembly Bill 25 prohibit employers from mandating the vaccine as a condition of employment.
The Senate has held a public hearing on the bills, passed them out of committee, which means they are ready for a vote by the full senate. Currently, no action has been taken on the Assembly bills.
This inaction by the Assembly is primarily because the language of both of these bills has been incorporated into an amendment to a larger COVID-related bill, Assembly Bill 1, that is currently bouncing back and forth between the Assembly and the Senate.
I’m sure this language will be passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature whether as the stand-alone bills or as a part of the larger bill. When that happens, then the bill goes to the governor—and then we see what he does with them.
It would be nice to think that Governor Evers respects Wisconsin statutes and our state constitution and will sign the bills into law. But his track record on COVID-related matters raises legitimate concerns. While there may be some difference of opinion about the exemptions being for the general population, especially during a declared public health emergency, there should be agreement that Article I, Section 18 of the state constitution clearly protects the right of conscience and of religious beliefs, which says these “shall never be infringed.”
No exceptions are noted to this statement, which means these rights exist whether or not we have a statewide emergency. To determine otherwise means we would be setting aside the constitution in certain situations—and if that becomes the case, then we will have taken another step forward in the destruction of the rule of law in this state.
Directly related to this issue and of significant concern for pro-life citizens is whether or not the tissues or cells or any body parts of aborted babies have been used in the testing or production of the COVID vaccine. Information on this important topic is available from the respected Charlotte Lozier Institute’s website, lozierinstitute.org. Here is a clear situation where the conscience rights of Individuals must be respected should any COVID vaccine mandate ever happen, or a mandate for any vaccine for that matter.
In this Orwellian world in which we find ourselves, prudence would require that we all get as informed as possible about vaccines and our rights. This is another case of where being forewarned is to be forearmed.
For Wisconsin Family Council, this is Julaine Appling reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”