UPDATE TUESDAY 2/18/2020: Minor Consent bills HB87 and SB135 have been withdrawn!
CALL TO ACTION: WEDNESDAY 1/22/2020
DELEGATE MARC KORMAN, SENATOR BRIAN FELDMAN AND THE FINANCE COMMITTEE NEED TO HEAR OUR VOICES NOW!
Delegate Marc Korman (District 16) and Senator Brian Feldman (District 15) have cross-filed companion bills HB87 and SB135 in the House and Senate to undermine and usurp your parental rights!
UPDATE 2/3/2020:Hearings rescheduled – ICM is asking members to testify if possible!
HB87 Wednesday 2/12/2020 at 1:00 p.m.
SB135 Tuesday 2/18/2020 at 1:00 p.m.
On Friday January 17th, ICM’s Josh Mazer accompanied Lisa Wiederlight, Executive Director of Safeminds, to a scheduled appointment with Delegate Marc Korman. Korman’s staffer informed them, without prior notice once they arrived at the office, that he would not meet with any constituents about this issue, and does not believe “their science.” Delegate Marc Korman does not think your voice, or your vote, is important.
Also last week, Senator Brian Feldman unceremoniously canceled a scheduled appointment with a prominent Maryland activist, citing no reason for doing so. Senator Brian Feldman does not consider our voices or our votes to be important.
Remind them who they work for!
There will be a hearing for HB87 before the Health and Government Operations Committee on 2/12/2020 at 1 PM.
There will be a hearing for SB135 before the Senate Finance Committee on 2/18/2020 at 1 PM.
Contact the Finance Committee members today! They must hear our voices!
(See Finance Committee members’ contact information below)
This proposed law is the most sweeping and draconian minor consent legislation we have seen introduced in any state so far. Important provisions of these bills:
o Health care providers may legally vaccinate minors age 16 and older against the express wishes of the parent or guardian, if the “minor consents to the immunizations” and “the health care provider determines the minor mature and capable of giving informed consent.” The provider determines this about the child, sometimes in a matter of minutes, without parental knowledge or consent
o A parent “may delegate verbally…the parent’s authority to consent” to immunization of the minor to grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, stepparents, or “any other adult who has care and control of the minor.” ANYONE. The “person delegated the authority shall confirm verbal delegation in writing.” That means that any adult currently with the minor can claim parental authority, claim the parent agreed verbally, and legally consent to vaccination. The temporarily appointed guardian, rather than the parent, provides the written documentation of verbal consent.
o The temporarily appointed guardian “shall provide the health care provider with sufficient and accurate health information about the minor for whom the consent is given and…sufficient and accurate health information about the minor’s family to enable…the health care provider to determine adequately the risks and benefits inherent in the proposed immunization…” This means that the aunt, sibling, grandparent, cousin, or next door neighbor, assuming temporary guardianship under the guise of undocumented verbal parental consent, is responsible for providing the complete medical and family history of the minor to the health care provider in order to “determine whether the immunization is advisable.” The parents are out of the equation.
o “…A health care provider who accepts the health history and other information…is not liable for an adverse reaction related to an immunization of the minor resulting from factual errors in the health history or information given by the person to the health care provider.” Health care providers are completely protected from liability in the event of an adverse reaction or any damages.
Key passages of the bill are highlighted here
SB135 and HB87 have been introduced as cross-filed companion bills (with identical language) so they can be passed and implemented quickly, without having to go through one chamber and then the other. HB87 is scheduled for hearing on 2/12/2020 at 1 PM. SB135 is scheduled for hearing on 2/18/2020 at 1 PM.
Members of the Finance Committee must hear from us today!
The most effective emails are not form letters, but rather written in your own words. Even a brief “I oppose this bill, thank you” is effective and will be tallied.
Talking points to include, paraphrased in your own words, in your email:
o This bill proposes that state government should usurp parental authority and supersede individual parental rights. This is fundamentally unconstitutional and grossly invasive.
o 16-year-old children are not legally allowed to vote, to smoke, or consent to any other invasive medical procedure. These kids are not able to give fully informed consent, nor do they necessarily know the details of their own medical history. It’s inappropriate to place the burden of medical decision making on minors at this age. If this precedent is set, what other medical decisions might the state take away from parents?
o Over 50% of children in the U.S., including Maryland, have a serious chronic health condition. One in sixty children in Maryland (2%) and 1 in 37 boys (3%) are on the autism spectrum. One in six children in the U.S. has a developmental disability and that number is rising. Healthcare providers administering medical procedures may not recognize these disabilities in high functioning children with special needs. How can these children give consent to invasive medical procedures without parental guidance? (If you have a special needs child, tell your story and explain why this bill would be a disaster for your family.)
o The Supreme Court ruled in 1979: “Most children, even in adolescence, simply are not able to make sound judgements concerning many decisions, including their need for medical care or treatment. Parents can and must make those judgements.”
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Call the offices of the Finance Committee members:
Delegate Phone Number
Hershey, Stephen S., Jr. 410-841-3639 | 301-858-3639
Jennings, J. B. 410-841-3706 | 301-858-3706
Kelley, Delores G. 410-841-3606 | 301-858-3606
Klausmeier, Katherine 410-841-3620 | 301-858-3620
Kramer, Benjamin F. 410-841-3151 | 301-858-3151
Reilly, Edward R. 410-841-3568 | 301-858-3568
Please spread the word! Let’s flood Finance Committee members with polite, respectful, forceful emails and phone calls. They need to hear our voices!
Recent Calls to Action:
See our HGO committee call to action here