Ohio lawmakers move to protect those refusing COVID-19 shot from discrimination

Fox 19 – Columbus OH:

Six of those who introduced the bill have publicly announced they will not get a COVID-19 vaccine

If you don’t want a COVID-19 shot, several Republican lawmakers want to make sure you don’t face any penalties because of that decision.

House Bill 248, introduced Wednesday, would allow Ohioans to decline a COVID-19 shot – or any other vaccine – because of religious reasons, medical reasons or natural immunity, according to our media partners at the Enquirer.

The proposal would prevent anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated from facing discrimination, being denied services or forced to follow a requirement that they wear masks or other penalties financial or social from businesses, schools or government.

“This is a matter of freedom,” state Rep. Jennifer Gross, R-West Chester, said of her bill. “The purpose of this legislation is to allow people to choose to do what they feel is best for their own body and protect individuals from any consequences or hardships for choosing one way or the other.”

Gross’ bill is backed by Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom, an anti-vaccination group that advocates for the right to choose or refuse any medical treatment or procedure. The bill also is supported by 15 Republican lawmakers, several of whom told reporters they would forgo the shot or wait to get one.   

Gross, a nurse practitioner who said she’s pro-vaccine, told the Dayton Daily News that she would wait to get the COVID-19 shot, adding “I just want to watch it for a couple of years.”

The concept isn’t uniquely Republican, though. A Democratic lawmaker in Rhode Island introduced a similar proposal to prevent vaccine discrimination, the Associated Press reported. 

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