State Rep. Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester) introduced the Vaccine Choice & Anti-Discrimination Act, a legislation that protects individuals who choose not to be vaccinated from discrimination due to their vaccine status.
Gross, who is a nurse practitioner, said she is pro-vaccine and values the progress that the medical field has made in enhancing the health and well-being of humanity.
The Ohio Department of Health reports that over three million people have received the COVID-19 vaccine thus far.
“There are eleven and a half million people in Ohio,” said Gross. “Many people across the state may be likely to decline vaccines like the COVID-19 vaccine for conscientious, religious, or medical reasons. Without the exemption provisions this bill provides, the notion of a vaccine passport could easily lead to a class system in Ohio where segregation and discrimination will proliferate.”
Under House Bill 248, people who decline any vaccine will be able to function in the state just as those who have been given a vaccine, and the bill would prevent anyone in the state of Ohio from discriminatory treatment based on their vaccination status.
“This is a matter of freedom,” said Gross. “The purpose of this legislation is to allow people to choose to do what they feel is best for their own body and protect individuals from any consequences or hardships for choosing one way or the other.”
Gross also noted that the constitution grants U.S. citizens the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and the life of an individual should be in the hands of the individual.
“As legislators, we have a responsibility to protect our citizens from government overreach and prohibit practices in the private sector that subject Ohioans to discrimination when going about their daily lives,” said Gross.
House Bill 248 is now awaiting referral to a House committee.