Legislative Wrap Up – 2023
Parental Rights Hold in MD
Real Informed Consent is Shut Down
The 2023 Maryland Legislative session ended at midnight on April 10th, 2023. On The Highwire in late March, Health Choice Maryland was recognized for its success in helping to defeat SB378 the Minor Consent bill, which was withdrawn by the sponsor. HCM also succeeded in helping to defeat SB372, the bill which would have allowed pharmacists to vaccinate children without parental consent.
These were TWO BIG WINS FOR PARENTAL RIGHTS.
But how can a parent or patient make an informed decision about vaccination if they are not given adequate risk/benefit information? Two important bills addressed Real informed consent and vaccine choice.
The informed consent bill for the HPV vaccines, HB1161, (subtitled Christina’s Law) would have required that consumers be given additional important, science-based information for true informed consent as is required by law and the Nuremberg Code.
We had very good momentum and excellent testimony in volume,quality and content in favor of the bill. Although it did not move out of Committee, we received a beautiful letter from the House of Delegates thanking us for our efforts and “the huge outpouring of support” which was very impactful. Our efforts were not in vain as they wrote:
“The valuable information about the dangerous side effects stopped any mandate from being introduced.”
Similarly, HB699, the Vaccine by Choice bill, did not pass out of the Committee. This bill would have prohibited proof of COVID vaccination for State employees and students at Maryland State Colleges. There was great testimony, wonderful expert witnesses and tons of support, but that bill too died in Committee. At least with the coming declared end of the Pandemic on May 11th, we can hope for an end to proof of COVID19 vaccination everywhere, for now.
Other concerning bills like SB628, the School-based Vaccine Program bill, also died. However one big loss, was the denial of an amendment to limit gender change interventions to those over 18 years of age. HB283, the Gender-Affirming Treatment (Trans Health Equity Act) passed without age restrictions or mention of the need for parental consent for minors.
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Thank you All for your activism and commitment regarding these bills. Your voice matters.