In controversial move, Maine to end religious exemptions for vaccines

As of Monday, May 13, the United States has 839 confirmed cases of measles. According to CNN, that is 75 more cases than was reported just one week ago. It was only a month ago that the recent measles outbreak exceeded previous outbreaks to become the worst in the United States since 2000. If there are just over 100 more cases confirmed in the coming weeks, this outbreak will become the largest in the past 25 years. To this end, many health departments across the country have taken steps to isolate those infected, as well as those who have not yet been immunized.

On Tuesday, Maine’s state Senate voted 18-17 to remove the “religious exemption” from the state’s school vaccination laws, according to the Press Herald. Democratic Gov. Janet Mills told reporters that she supported the move. If this becomes law, Maine will join California, Mississippi, and West Virginia as only the fourth state to ban any and all “exemptions” from state-funded schools. According to the paper, the vote was split mostly along party lines, with a couple of Democratic senators joining Republicans in a failed attempt to keep the religious exemptions.

“We are pushing religious people out of our great state,” Sen. Lisa Keim, R-Dixfield, said before the vote. “And we will also be closing the door on religious people who may consider making Maine their home. We are fooling ourselves if we don’t believe an exodus would come about.”

You see what Sen. Keim did there? It’s like the exodus out in Maine. Except in Egypt the “religious exemption” the Israelites were looking for was not being enslaved, brutalized, raped, and murdered. It’s kind of like apples and oranges. 

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