Conscientious objection has been the rallying cry for parents across the world who refuse to vaccinate their children. Australian bipartisan lawmakers announced the “no jab, no pay” policy, dealing a decisive blow to citizens who fall into this category, according to a report from Sky News. The government sites that the percentage of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children has more than doubled in the last decade.
Social Service Administrator Minister Scott Morrison noted that it was not fair for parents who vaccinate to subsidize those who object. He also feels that most doctors are in agreement.
“The overwhelming advice of those in the health profession is it’s the smart thing and the right thing to do to immunize your children.”
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) represents 27,000 doctors across Australia. They have come out in overwhelming support of the “no jab, no pay” policy. The AMA President Brian Owler weighed in on the topic as well.
“Vaccination remains one of the most effective public health measures that we have. Whatever we can do to increase vaccination rates is important.”
Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children could stand to lose thousands of dollars in welfare and childcare benefits. They would stand to lose $205 per week in childcare benefits along with a tax credit of $7,500 per year. That is a total of up to $18,160 per year. For those that cite religious reasons for not vaccinating, they would still qualify, but the lawmakers assured the exemption would be “very narrow.”
As you can understand, there are a lot of parents and organizations angry over “no jab, no pay.” They had plenty to say about the policy. At the moment, an online petition gained 3,000 signatures in just the last five days. Along with the petition, parents commented as well.
Rima Helal said, “My children, my choice and NOT the governments.”
Jody Fletcher followed up with this statement.
“I will not put my child at risk from further damage from vaccinations.”
Parents like Helal and Fletcher are not alone in their feelings about vaccinations. There are plenty of high-profile celebrities who have spoken out against vaccines. In an article from the Hollywood Reporter in September of 2014, they were profiled.
Australia is the first nation to punish their citizens monetarily if they refuse to vaccinate. What do you think about the “no jab, no pay” law? Does the government have the right to withhold benefits, or have they overstepped their bounds?
[Photo by The Australian]