The Religious Right might make a lot of noise on behalf of family and the children, but as Phyllis Schlafly makes clear, children's rights and safety goes by the wayside when it comes in conflict with goofy religious or fringe science ideas. Brace yourself, here is the shocking news that Ms. Schlafly finds so objectionable:
New Jersey just added four new vaccines to those already required of children who attend public schools, and has become the first state to require the flu vaccine. Children attending preschool or licensed day care centers must receive annual flu shots.
New Jersey regulations also require the pneumococcal vaccine for preschoolers, the meningitis vaccine for sixth-graders, and a booster shot for the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis they already receive.
That's right, the High Priestess of Family Values is having a conniption because children are going to be [gasp] vaccinated against dangerous diseases, even those with misinformed parents who have bought the mercury-vaccine crank medical theories, as apparently Ms. Schlafly has. She also shows a grotesque lack of priorities as she closes her article with this:
A decent respect for parental rights over medical treatment imposed on their own children should require that states allow vaccine exemptions for philosophical and conscientious reasons, in addition to medical and religious reasons.
You have got to be kidding. Allowing parents to expose their children, and by extension other people's children, to preventable and potentially dangerous medical maladies for any reason other than medical ones is insane, plain and simple. What possible "conscientious reason" could a parent have for doing this? This is about crank science and religion, period.
And sorry, religious views shouldn't count any more than the crank science should, but the crank science would fail on its own. There is no greater example of the privileged place of religion in society than this one. Parents being allowed to deny their children medical care will be viewed by historians centuries hence as one of the insanities of our time, and the likes of Phyllis Schlafly will certainly not be viewed as being pro-family, or interested in the well-being of children.