New York State Assemblywoman Pat Fahy introduced a bill on Friday that would allow minors as young as 14 years old to receive immunizations without their parent’s consent. Fahy said the state is on the verge of a public health crisis.
“Over the last 10 or 20 years, we’ve become complacent about immunizations,” Fahy said. “We do need to make sure that children can sometimes, and we hope that it’s a rare case, take their own personal health into consideration.”
The bill comes on the heels of Ethan Lindenberger’s testimony before Congress on Tuesday. Lindenberger defied his parent’s wishes and immunized himself without their consent.
In New York State, the only exemptions under the law for vaccinations are for religious and medical reasons. The state requires all students attending public, private or patriarchal schools to be immune to several viruses, including measles and meningitis. These are two of the viruses the bill is pushing for teens to immunize themselves against.
Facebook is even joining the conversation. It announced it’s combating anti-vaccination-misinformation on its platform.
According to Fahy’s office, only seven states and D.C. allow minors to receive vaccinations without their parent’s consent.
The three New York chapters of the American Academy of pediatrics support the bill, saying young people often are better at discerning false information on the internet.