COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representatives today approved broad protections for Ohio’s employees against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The Ohio Medical Freedom Plan, House Bill 218, allows government and private businesses to mandate COVID-19 vaccines, but requires these organizations to provide exemptions for natural immunity through antibody tests, religious convictions, reasons of personal conscience, and medical reasons.
“For months I have been fighting for the rights of my constituents and I was proud to vote in favor of HB 218,” said Koehler. “While the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Manufacturers Association, Ohio State Medical Association, and other groups I normally work with were opposed to this legislation, I stood up for my constituents’ medical freedom.
It was my hope that those groups could have worked with their association members to come up with policies that allowed exemptions. However, the federal government’s COVID vaccine mandates, although stalled, have created uncertainty among Ohio’s employers – with many organizations proactively imposing mandates as they await guidance from Congress and the President. Unfortunately and regretfully, the state legislature needed to step up and circumvent this uncertainty.”
Furthermore, HB 218 stops businesses from restricting access to the public based on vaccine status and it prohibits schools from discriminating against K-12 students based on vaccination status.
“The choice of a parent to vaccinate their child is deeply personal – I am proud to support HB 218, as its puts this decision back in the hands of parents.”
The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration.