Indiana law requires vaccination exemptions from pre-menopausal women

Live virus vaccines are not recommended for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant in a matter of weeks. | File photo

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) recently stated that the Indiana state senate now requires hospitals to show proof of exemptions for pre-menopausal women who may become pregnant.

The bill, SB 162, gives hospitals permission to terminate the employment of any workers who come into direct contact with a patient who does not offer evidence of receiving vaccines for chickenpox, influenza, mumps, measles, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. There will now be very few exemptions to this ruling.

All of the above live virus vaccines are not recommended for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant in a matter of weeks. This is because it is unclear how the vaccine will affect the fetus or a pregnancy, largely because of the mercury compound (thimerosal) that is a neurotoxin used in vaccines. In addition, researchers have removed thimerosal from most of the vaccines used in pediatrics, as there is concern about the rising numbers of American children who have neurological disabilities.

Mercury builds up inside fetal tissue, which could harm the fetus. There have been limited safety studies for women who are pregnant and receive the inactivated influenza vaccine.

“We have no adequate safety testing for exposing fetuses during the critical time when their brains are developing,” AAPS Executive Director Jane Orient said. "All [sexually active] pre-menopausal women who have not been surgically sterilized could potentially become pregnant. If hospitals are determined to force vaccines on unwilling workers, they should at least automatically grant a medical exemption for potential pregnancy to any woman who requests it. No one should be forced to choose between her job and risking harm to a baby.”

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