Dear Mary Fallin,
,Last week you vetoed the Parental Rights Immunization Act. This bill would simply require doctors make the "Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases: Vaccine Excipient and Media Summary" available. This is a four page document listing ingredients and substances used to make the vaccine. The bill also asks that doctors discuss risks and benefits, the vaccine injury compensation program, and give parents a VIS sheet (vaccine information statement), which is already required by federal law.
As a doula, I deal with informed consent a lot. I teach clients what informed consent means, I give them specific questions to ask to obtain informed consent, and in the labor and delivery room I empower them to make their own informed decisions. What is currently being given to parents is not enforced and is not informed consent. When I took my own daughter to the pediatrician for shots, I was not given a single VIS sheet. In fact, when she was born I was given the Hepatitis B consent form slipped in with my discharge paperwork. It didn't matter if I consented to it or not, because they had already given my daughter the the vaccine just minutes after she was born, two days before.
The VIS sheets are sometimes loosely referred to as informed consent forms, but this is not true. VISs are written to fulfill the information requirements of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, not as informed consent forms. The VIS pales in comparison to a vaccine package insert. The VIS includes little to none of the important information I would give my clients as a doula.
HB3016 is a common sense bill. Of course parents should be made aware of ingredients in vaccines. We are made aware of what ingredients are in our foods and other medicines. Why not vaccines?
As a mom to a child with food allergies, this is extremely important to me. Mary, if your daughter was allergic to beef, neomycin, or yeast, wouldn't you want to be aware those things are in childhood vaccines? If you know you have a family history of an allergy to eggs maybe you would want to delay the flu vaccine just a little while longer... That is your right as a parent and you should be made fully aware of the ingredients so you can make an informed decision.
You boast that you have signed "every pro life bill that has come to your desk", but this isn't true. HB3016 would make parents aware of the use of aborted fetal cells in the manufacturing of some vaccines. In essence, this is a pro life bill. You vetoed it.
I would also like to address the Oklahoma chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics which appears to be instrumental in your veto, you copied their action alert almost word for word in your reasoning for vetoing the bill. The bill requires doctors make 4 pages available, not 34 as they led you to believe. The 4 pages only have to be made available in some way, whether that is on a computer screen or posted on a wall in their facility. They are not required to give a copy to every single parent. We do not believe this bill will result in lower vaccination rates. In fact, literature supplied by the American Academy of Pediatrics is clear that trust established between pediatrician and parents is the single biggest driver of vaccination rates. Scaring, shaming, blaming and firing have been proven to negatively affect rates. HB3016 opens up meaningful conversation about vaccines, allowing parents and doctors to discuss their concerns and establish trust.
I am angered and upset that you pandered to special interests instead of your constituents. Myself and other directors for the Oklahomans for Vaccine and Heath Choice made the trip to your office where we were only allowed to speak with a secretary. We brought, in hand, exactly what HB3016 requires. You did not even discuss your concerns with the authors of the bill, instead they had to hear your concerns through the grapevine. I write this open letter to make the facts of HB3016 known, and in the hopes that the next time you are being pressured to veto a common sense bill, you would maybe think about it as a mother and future grandmother, as a pro life woman, or as a human with a basic right to informed consent
1/12/2023 10:00:28 am
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Miranda is a birth and postpartum doula serving the central Oklahoma area.