A federal judge temporarily blocked a Washington, D.C., law from going into effect that would have allowed children as young as 11 years old to receive COVID-19 vaccination without parental consent.
Judge Trevor McFadden ruled that the Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act of 2020 (MCA) “targets religious parents.”
“States and the District are free to encourage individuals — including children — to get vaccines,” McFadden wrote in his ruling. “But they cannot transgress on the [National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act] Congress created. And they cannot trample on the Constitution.”
The ruling addressed two separate lawsuits filed in July.
“In one complaint, a group of parents with children enrolled in city public or charter schools argued Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser could not enforce the law because it subverts the right and duty of parents to make informed decisions about whether their children should receive vaccinations,” the Washington Examiner reported.
“Another lawsuit was filed by a Maryland father who said his daughter crossed state lines to enter Washington to get vaccinated without his knowledge,” the report added.
A total of 42 states require parental consent for their children to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Two states, North Carolina and South Carolina, allow students to be vaccinated without parental consent as early as age 16.
Oregon state law allows children to be vaccinated without parental consent as early as 15 years old, while Alabama allows as early as 14 years of age. Some states also do not provide specific laws related directly to COVID-19 vaccinations for minors without parental consent, according to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The District of Columbia MCA law presented the earliest age in the U.S. for COVID-19 vaccination without parental consent. The law has not gone into effect, however, and the new ruling will continue to keep the MCA from moving forward unless another court ruling changes the decision.
Last month, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz introduced an amendment to block federal funds to schools and child care centers that enforce COVID-19 vaccine mandates on students and young children.
The amendment would modify the $1.6 trillion continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through March 11, 2022, by prohibiting federal funds from being distributed to schools and child care centers that have a COVID-19 vaccine mandate related to enrollment, in-person attendance, and participation in school-sponsored activities. The Daily Wire reported:
“Enough is enough. It’s time to stop the petty tyrants imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates on families across the country,” Cruz said in a statement.
“No child should be denied an education because of his or her personal medical choice. Schools shouldn’t get federal taxpayer dollars to trample on our constitutional liberties. It’s time for all of us to take a stand. Are you with parents and kids, or power hungry politicians?” he added.
The amendment would restrict federal funding to “any entity, school, center or facility that imposes such a mandate,” including state and local educational agencies, public schools and charter schools, private schools, child care centers, and Head Start facilities.