COLUMBUS (WCMH) — At the Ohio Statehouse, lawmakers are debating a bill that would keep a business or the government from requiring vaccinations.
“There are thousands of Ohioans that are asking for the freedom to decide to make their own medical choices,” said Rep. Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester). “Vaccination is a medical choice.”
The hearing comes on the same day Ohio began its million-dollar lottery to convince more people to get vaccinated.
Gross, the bill’s sponsor, testified on House Bill 248 in front of the House Health Committee, saying the bill is not against vaccination, but for freedom.
“I’m concerned about my freedom from an infectious disease,” said Rep. Beth Liston (D-Dublin).
The bill is not limited to the coronavirus vaccine. The Vaccine Choice and Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits mandatory vaccinations and vaccination status disclosures in general.
“The businesses as well as colleges and schools, some schools are enforcing this policy without law,” Gross said. “This law protects freedom.”
The bill maintains the law requiring immunizations before a child enrolls in school or childcare but requires a school or day-care center to notifiy parents about available exemptions.
Tuesday’s testimony centered around the pandemic and the coronavirus vaccine. Liston said the bill puts up barriers to those who are trying to keep their employees and other Ohioans safe.
“I know that there are many businesses and entities that are really working hard to keep people safe and this bill, 248, really prevents them from doing so,” she said.