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Health & Wellness

Repeal of vaccination religious exemptions upheld

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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A judge has upheld a New York state law repealing religious exemptions from vaccinations required for children in schools or day care programs.

The state Legislature repealed the religious exemption in June amid the nation's worst measles outbreak in decades. Families who previously held religious exemptions sued, arguing the repeal action was unconstitutional because it violated rights of religious expression.

State Supreme Court Judge Denise Hartman upheld the law, citing extensive legal precedent supporting compulsory vaccination laws. She quoted a 1944 U.S. Supreme Court ruling saying the right to practice religion does not include liberty to expose the community to disease.

Civil rights lawyer Michael Sussman said Monday the decision will be appealed. New York still allows exemption from vaccines for medical reasons such as a weakened immune system.

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