When I became a nurse in 2005, I was taught to tell patients, “As long as you take narcotics as prescribed, you won’t become addicted.” This was a lie from the pharmaceutical industry. Some of my patients’ substance use disorder originated with prescribed narcotics following a cesarean. The industry responsible for the opioid epidemic, knowingly causing death with Vioxx, raising epi-pen prices, and admitting their obligation to shareholders, not patients, is the very same industry behind a new law eliminating religious and philosophical exemptions to vaccines.

Given their track record of 8,000 medications being recalled from 2013 to 2018, do you want the pharmaceutical industry mandating a liability-free product (manufacturers cannot be sued for vaccine injuries/deaths) that is neither 100% safe nor 100% effective? Do you want the biggest lobbyists in the country and the largest financial contributors to politicians making your medical decisions?

The removal of religious and philosophical exemptions applies to missing even one required vaccine for all schools (public, private, religious), preschool through graduate school, even online, and certain places of employment. Proponents would have you believe this is about “safe schools.” But Maine has an excellent school vaccination rate of approximately 95%.

In an ironic twist, the medically fragile children this law claims to protect are the very children at risk. Many rely on the philosophical exemption because medical ones are rarely issued.

I’m a vaccinated nurse whose children have received a combined 85 vaccine doses. This is not about vaccines. This is about having the right to decide what goes into your body. It’s about informed consent, a pillar of medical ethics that includes the right to make medical decisions without coercion. Using education or employment as a bargaining chip is coercion. This is about medical freedom vs. medical tyranny. Yes on 1.


Karen Harrington


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