Rep. Drazan on Vaccine Bill: ‘If There’s No Compelling Public Benefit, Why Would We Take Freedom?’

State Rep. Christine Drazan was welcomed home Thursday for her first town hall meeting in Canby since being elected to represent House District 39 last November.

The meeting at Warner Grange was well-attended and covered a wide range of topics, many of them regarding proposed bills that are at different stages in the 2019 legislative session. Constituents quizzed Drazan about various issues that concern them, including PERS, new proposals aimed at limiting firearms and Measure 11 reform.

One of the most talked about proposals currently being discussed is House Bill 3063, which would require all children enrolled in Oregon public, private and charter schools to have all the recommended immunizations, unless they’re exempted for approved medical reasons.

This would do away with the so-called “non-medical exemption,” which allows parents to opt out of any or all otherwise required vaccinations for religious, philosophical or personal reasons.

One local mom who attended the town hall, Erin Khooda, said she’s not normally one to get involved in politics, but this issue hits close to home.

Rep. Drazan, who serves on the House Committee on Health Care, says she has heard from thousands of Oregonians about this bill, including the testimony from parents when it was still in that committee.

Drazan says she believes in public health and vaccinated her own children, but voted against the bill in committee because she also believes in parents having the ultimate say when it comes to their children’s health.

She also says she’s not interested in laws restricting personal freedom when there is no compelling public reason for it, because the state is not currently experiencing a health crisis, and the Oregon population has already attained “herd immunity” for the diseases vaccines are designed to prevent.

HB 3063 has been set for a second reading on the House floor on Thursday, May 2. A third and final reading, followed by a probable vote, will be on Monday, May 6.

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