New Hampshire Senate passes ‘medical freedom’ bill limiting government from forcing vaccines

The New Hampshire Senate passed legislation to limit the state’s ability to compel citizens to get vaccinated.

“This was one of the most contentious bills that we’ve had all year,” said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley.

The Republican-controlled legislature passed an amendment Thursday to House Bill 220 which many are calling a “medical freedom” bill aimed at limiting the government’s ability to force vaccinations on its citizens. State law already permitted religious exemptions to vaccinations but this law would outright prohibit the government from requiring a person to have a COVID-19 vaccination for such things as employment, entering a building, or to receive services.

H.B 220 does not change existing state law requiring students to have a number of vaccinations, Bradley said. The bill is heading back to the House after the Senate made changes.

The bill’s passage comes as several states have introduced or passed laws banning vaccination passports in light of the COVID-19 vaccine being widely available.

Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill banning businesses and government agencies from requiring the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. The bill states that “an entity or individual doing business in this state may not refuse to provide any goods or services, or refuse to allow admission, to a customer based on the customer’s immunization status or lack of documentation that the customer has received an immunization.”

In April, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey banned vaccination passports by executive order. Ducey’s order prohibits state and local government agencies from requiring residents “to provide their COVID-19 vaccination status to receive service or enter an area.”

“While we strongly recommend all Arizonans get the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s not mandated in our state – and it never will be. Vaccination is up to each individual, not the government,” Ducey said.

In April, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed several laws that prevent state and local governments from requiring proof of vaccination as a condition for employment as well as a ban on vaccination passports for citizens to access goods and services in the state.