Congresswoman Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, introduced a bill last week that would make it illegal for health care providers to administer COVID-19 vaccines to those younger than 18 without the consent of parents or guardians.
Herrera Beutler’s Protecting Parental Rights Act comes as a proposed California law would allow children ages 12 and older to forgo parental consent in order to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
In Washington, health care providers are able to waive parental consent in the case of vaccines. Four states have the same policy.
Under the congresswoman’s act, health care providers who administer a COVID-19 vaccine to a minor without the consent of a guardian would be subject to a fine or up to one year in prison.
“We all want to see the end of the COVID pandemic but putting bureaucrats between parents and their children when it comes to medical decision-making is not the answer. It’s shocking that some states are considering laws to allow children as young as 12 to cut their parents out of health care decisions,” Herrera Beutler said in a statement. “I believe the vaccine is safe and effective for a vast majority of Americans, but that’s no reason to force parents to surrender their role in the health care decisions of their family. I’m introducing the Protecting Parental Rights Act to maintain parents’ ability to have the final authority over medical decisions regarding their young children.”