Ending Vaccination Mandate Exemptions in Australia and the US

Under a new government policy announced by Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott, many Australian families are respectively facing the denial of thousands of dollars in welfare and tax benefits over a year’s time because their children have not received all the vaccinations listed on a government schedule. Meanwhile, in America, recently developed pro-mandate momentum threatens to end the most commonly used exemptions families claim to exempt children from mandatory vaccinations.

The new Australian policy cuts welfare and tax benefits if parents rely on a conscientious objection — often referred to as a philosophical objection in America — to deviate from the government’s vaccination schedule. While the conscientious objection option has been available to parents generally, the religious and medical exemptions that may still be asserted under the new policy are only available to a subset of families. Indeed, CBC News quotes the Australia social services minister predicting that very few families will be able to obtain an exemption under the new policy:

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said he only expected a very small number of families to be exempted from the new policy.

Morrison said parents seeking a religious exception would need to be registered with their church or similar organization.

‘That’s the only basis upon which you can have a religious exception, and there are no mainstream religions that have such objections registered so this would apply to a very, very small proportion of people,’ he said.

‘It’d be lucky to be in the thousands, if that.’

The new Australia policy is an example of the danger of “do-good” government programs, such as welfare, morphing into a means for punishing and prohibiting the exercise of individual rights. John Odermatt passionately addresses this concern about the new Australia policy at the Lions of Liberty, stating:

The law blatantly targets the poorest in society and gives the rich a pass. I don’t see how any rational person could see this as anything else than an attack on the poor. The law is immoral because it uses coercion to influence behavior. Lawmakers and the people who support this travesty believe that individuals do not own their bodies. To endorse this law is to endorse outright tyranny.

Once the new policy has been implemented for a while to limit some families’ welfare and tax benefits, the concerns Odermatt expresses about the disparity of the program’s impact will likely be used by mandate advocates to argue that mandatory vaccinations be made the policy for everyone.

In America that would be termed “closing a loophole” or “expanding a successful pilot program.”

Continue reading at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

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