COLUMBUS – State Rep. Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester) today introduced the Vaccine Choice & Anti-Discrimination Act, legislation that protects individuals who choose not to be vaccinated from discrimination due to vaccine status.
As a nurse practitioner, Gross noted she is pro-vaccine and values the progress that the medical field has made in enhancing the health and well-being of humanity.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, 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, individuals who decline any vaccine will still be able to function and operate in the state just as those who have been given a vaccine and the bill would prevent all entities in the state of Ohio from discriminatory treatment of citizens based on their vaccination status.
“This is a matter of freedom,” added 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 inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Therefore, 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,” concluded Gross.
H.B. 248 now awaits referral to a House committee.