It is crucial that Maine voters, regardless of party affiliation, go to the polls on March 3 and vote “no” on Question 1. This veto is an attempt by fearmongering and ignorant anti-vaccine proponents to overturn the new law which limits vaccine exemptions for Maine students to those that are medically necessary.

The tactics of this bill’s opposition are perilous. Throughout my 10 years as a public school teacher, I worked hard to teach my students to evaluate sources of information, especially those they found on social media, for credibility, currency and accuracy. The anti-vaccination movement rejects this important critical analysis in favor of anecdotes, emotions and rumors. It is a dangerous, pseudoscientific trend that is putting our children’s health at risk.

I am deeply saddened that so many of those in opposition, who are crying “religious freedom,” are fellow evangelical Christians.

Christianity does not prohibit vaccination, nor does it promote putting children’s lives at risk for the sake of personal freedom.

On the contrary, Christians are urged to think of others before themselves, especially those who are “weak”; in this case, medically fragile members of our community who cannot be vaccinated. There are no mainstream religions that oppose vaccines and I resent the anti-vaccination movement’s implication that Christianity does or would promote such a selfish, privileged and science-denying stance.

On March 3, I encourage others to join me in helping protect Maine’s children and communities by voting “no” on Question 1.

Allison Long, Buckfield

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