I decided to copy and paste this from Why Evolution is True because I think it is so important:
Religious exemptions from children’s healthcare. Part 1: preventive and diagnostic procedures
November 11, 2013 – 11:55 am
CHILD, which stands for Children’s Healthcare is a Legal Duty, is a great organization founded by Rita Swan, a Christian Scientist whose son, denied medical treatment, died a terrible death from bacterial meningitis—a curable ailment. Horrified at what she and her husband had done, Swan devoted her life to making sure other children don’t go through what her son did. (Needless to say, she left the Church—and also wrote a book about their experience, The Last Strawberry.) CHILD is devoted to overturning laws that exculpate parents from harming their children if they have religious reasons. You could do worse than give that organization a few dollars!
CHILD also presents an informative page on U.S. states’ religious exemptions for preventive health care and medical treatment for children, which includes a list of injuries and deaths occurring to children subject to those exemptions (it’ll break your heart), as well as a slate of legal steps the organization is taking to overturn exemption laws.
Today I’ll simply re-publish CHILD’s list of religious exemptions for preventive and diagnostic measures for U.S. children. Tomorrow I’ll give their list of the laws that exempt children from getting medical care on religious grounds.
Many of these exemptions were the result of lobbying by the Christian Science Church, which works nationwide to keep religious exemptions in place. That is, of course, because their church dogma prohibits members from getting medical attention. They see illness and injury solely as the product of faulty thinking, and believe that ailments can be cured by prayer. That is is a dangerous, child-killing belief. It is child abuse on a nationwide scale.
Please read what’s below. It it doesn’t make you angry, there’s something wrong.
Religious Exemptions From Health Care For Children
A. Exemptions from preventive and diagnostic measures
■48 states have religious exemptions from immunizations. Mississippi and West Virginia are the only states that require all children to be immunized without exception for religious belief.
■The majority of states have religious exemptions from metabolic testing of newborns. Such tests detect disorders that will cause mental retardation and other handicaps unless they are treated.
■Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, and Pennsylvania have religious exemptions from prophylactic eyedrops for newborns. The eyedrops prevent blindness of infants who have been infected
with venereal diseases carried by their mothers.
■Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have religious exemptions from testing children for lead-levels in their blood.
■California allows public school teachers to refuse testing for tuberculosis on religious grounds. Ohio has a religious exemption from testing and treatment for tuberculosis. It lets parents use “a recognized method of religious healing” instead of medical care for a child sick with tuberculosis.
■California, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and some other states offer religious exemptions from physical examinations of school children.
■Connecticut, New Jersey, Oregon, West Virginia, and some other states have religious exemptions from hearing tests for newborns.
■Oregon and Pennsylvania have religious exemptions from bicycle helmets.
■Oregon has a religious exemption from Vitamin K that is given to newborns to prevent spontaneous hemorrhage.
■California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio have statutes excusing students with religious objections from studying about disease in school.
■Delaware, Wyoming, and other states have laws with religious exemptions for both children and adults from medical examination, testing, treatment, and vaccination during public health emergencies.
Bicycle helmets! Of course that’s the least of these harms, but it shows how crazy all these exemptions are.
One that really bothers me is the six-state exemption “excusing students with religious objections from studying about disease in school.” That’s ridiculous, for it gives children (some of whom may leave the church) an excuse to ignore modern science. As far as I know, there is no religious exemption from learning about evolution if your parents belong to one of the many creationist churches.
These regulations were put in place by the U.S. government, i.e., people like me. We need to get rid of such exemptions. There’s something really twisted about being legally culpable for withholding medical care from your children, but not culpable if you do it on religious grounds.