CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Dozens of parents and activists took to the steps of the Capitol Complex Wednesday morning to advocate for the right not to vaccinate their children.
West Virginia is one of two states that does not allow parents a nonmedical exemption to immunizations.
Rally participants urged the West Virginia Legislature to pass Senate Bill 50, which would allow parents nonmedical immunization exemptions to vaccines.
"We feel like it's a constitutional issue," said Claudia Raymer of Moundsville, founder of the group We the People.
Among the concerns are that some vaccines are developed in aborted fetuses, which causes a moral objection for some parents, she said.
She also argued that some vaccines like the ones for chicken pox and for hepatitis B are not needed. Chicken pox is not a deadly disease and hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease, she said.
Raymer's son was fully vaccinated until she said he developed a condition related to the immunizations. A doctor in Pittsburgh recommended a medical exemption, which was denied by Marshall County officials, she said.
Raymer is filing an injunction but if the medical exemption is ultimately denied, her only other choice besides vaccinations will be to educate her son at home, she said.
"We're not asking for groundbreaking legislation," Raymer said. "We're asking for the rights just like other states [have]."