Center for Inquiry Applauds New York for Ending Religious Exemptions to Vaccines

For Immediate Release: June 14, 2019
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director - (207) 358-9785

The Center for Inquiry applauds the State of New York for ending the religious exemption to mandatory vaccination for school-age children. On Thursday, June 13, the New York State Legislature voted to approve legislation repealing the exemption. Governor Andrew Cuomo promptly signed the legislation into law.

“The Legislature allowed sanity to prevail by repealing this egregious example of religious privilege,” said Jason Lemieux, CFI’s Director of Government Affairs. “Religious vaccine exemptions endanger innocent children by elevating unfalsifiable religious sentiments over the crystal-clear evidence that vaccines help protect the health and safety of every member of society.”

New York joins Maine, West Virginia, California, and Mississippi as the only states that do not allow non-medical exemptions. CFI’s supporters played an invaluable role in advocating for the repeal of non-medical exemptions in New York and Maine. The organization continues to call for a nationwide repeal of all non-medical exemptions.

“Passing this demanded political courage from lawmakers,” said Robyn Blumner, CFI’s President and CEO. “Fueled by outlandish conspiracy theories and misinformation, anti-vaxxers have stoked fear and sown confusion about vaccines, attempting to intimidate legislators from protecting public health. We hope that every state that allows non-medical exemptions will now follow New York’s example today.”

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at