New Jerseyans opposing vaccine exemption bill hold town hall meeting

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A group of New Jerseyans who are looking to oppose a vaccine exemption bill held a town hall event of sorts in Woodbridge Thursday.

Parents who attended this conference feel their parental rights would be taken away by the bill. They say it’s their choice and their right - not the state of New Jersey - to decide If their child should be vaccinated.

The bill would put limits on which children were exempt from getting vaccinations in order to be allowed to attend public schools in New Jersey. But the bill’s opponents, who called themselves “Wellness Warriors” at Thursday’s meeting, say that they believe that it infringes on parental rights and religious freedoms.

"This movement that you're all part of is growing it's doubling and quadrupling,” says Dr. Stuart Warner.

The discussion was led by Stuart and Theresa Warner. They are pushing back on vaccination, claiming vaccines are responsible for the uptick in chronic disease among children, from colic to ADHD to Autism.

RELATED: Vaccine exception bill stalls in state Senate as protesters descend on State House 

The group Autism Speaks has come out to say, "The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism. We urge that all children be fully vaccinated."

But those opposed to vaccines say that they do not believe the medical findings.

"As a legal matter vaccine are unavoidable, unsafe. A pediatrician who says they're safe is just lying,” says Mary Holland with the group Children’s Health Defense.

Long Island pediatrician Dr. Larry Palevsky was one of the key speakers at the meeting. He pointed to numbers suggesting the vaccine won't work in some children.

"2 to 10% of children are vaccinated and might not develop an antibody. Which means the vaccine didn't do anything to their body at all,” he says.

Hundreds to thousands of people rallied outside the New Jersey State House in December to oppose the exemption bill while lawmakers voted on the legislation. The state Assembly passed the bill that day with a vote of 45-25. But the state Senate put off the vote.

Opponents say that they consider the lack of a vote a victory.

The state Senate is expected to revisit the bill. Legislators have until Jan. 13 to vote before the session ends and the bill dies.

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