Vaccine Exemptions and Civil Liberties at Risk in VirginiaVirginia’s historic Act for Religious Freedom authored by Thomas Jefferson in 1786 and reaffirmed by the General Assembly in 2007, states that, “Almighty God hath created the mind free” and that “all attempts to influence it” by punishments are an “infringement of natural right.” The law affirms that no person has the right to assume “dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible” and “impose them on others.” Pointing to differences of opinion among scientists and philosophers, the law states, “Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court have declared federally licensed and government mandated vaccines to be “unavoidably unsafe” and shielded drug companies and doctors from vaccine injury lawsuits. Under the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, 3.5 billion dollars in federal compensation has been paid for vaccine injuries and deaths caused by government mandated vaccines. Who has the moral authority to deny anyone the right to pray to God for guidance and obey our conscience when making a decision about a pharmaceutical product that can brain injure or end our life or our child’s life? Virginia has one of the lowest vaccine exemption rates in the nation, with 1.1 percent of children attending kindergarten exempted for medical or religious reasons. Where is the compelling state interest to discriminate against these families? Please reaffirm freedom of religion and conscience and the right of physicians to exercise professional judgment and conscience in the Commonwealth of Virginia by recommending that no change be made to current vaccine laws.