In a purely partisan vote, Democrats on the Educational and Cultural Affairs Committee all voted in favor of LD 798, a bill to remove philosophical and religious exemptions to vaccinations. I applaud the efforts of the Republican committee members; however, although they gave it their best, the democrats outnumbered them 8-5.

Testimonies lasted all afternoon and night and into the early morning hours of the following day. Yet despite this, Democrats saw no problem in removing a person’s right to choose.

It was disheartening to witness parents plead for their right to make decisions regarding vaccinations for their children. And, unlike Paul LePage, who vetoed a similar bill in 2015, the current governor has already promised to sign the bill into law.

If parents were convinced that vaccines were safe and effective, there would be no anti-vaccine movement. There have been too many lives irreparably damaged to ignore the truth. The Supreme Court ruled that they are “unavoidably unsafe” and has quietly compensated victims more than $3 billion for related injuries.

With regard to myself and my children, I have spent many hours researching vaccines and have made a decision that I am comfortable with — a decision I feel is based on facts, not fear, propaganda or coercion. Sadly, if elected officials have their way, I may not have that option much longer.

Donna Dodge, Denmark