- Published: 08 April 2015
PARK RIDGE – As a result of a recent measles outbreak in the northwest suburbs, Senator John Mulroe (D-CHICAGO) has sponsored legislation that would tighten exemptions for vaccinations. Along with community advocates, he held a press conference Wednesday to discuss some of the changes proposed by concerned constituents across the state.
“I sponsored this bill after learning of the measles outbreak here in Chicago. This very serious disease was controlled by vaccination in the past, just like polio, and was until recently nearly eradicated,” Mulroe said. “We want to make sure that everyone’s right to choose the best health plan for their child is protected, while also ensuring they receive accurate and sound medical advice from trained professionals.”
In response to recent criticism of the original language, Mulroe has begun working on an amendment that seeks a compromise. “I want to make it clear that my intent is not to take away either the medical or religious exemptions”, Mulroe said.
Individuals seeking the exemption would still be required to fill out a form created by the Department of Public Health; language dictating the frequency of filling out those forms is being discussed between stakeholders for and against the bill.
Among the community advocates were Alexandra Eidenberg who runs Mom+Baby, an organization focused on the well-being of pregnant women, mothers and children, and Rebecca Abraham who is a registered nurse who works directly with infectious diseases.
“I have four children of my own who benefitted from being vaccinated.” Mulroe said. “After many discussions with parents who believe their children were injured by a vaccine, however, I am trying to address concerns that vaccines may be harmful to certain children. I would never want to be responsible for harming a child. This is a public safety issue. I want to make sure that all children and the public are safe.””
SB1410 is currently in committee awaiting an amendment.
Video footage from the press conference is below.