Calling all NJ Residents

Sign the Petition today to affirm religious freedom in NJ.

Published: Oct 7, 2019

Our Stand

  • NJ Bill A3818 introduced by Assemblyman Conaway (District 7) and Assemblywoman Jasey (District 27) as amended, would completely eliminate the religious exemption to vaccination.
  • Religious freedom is a foundational issue. The vast majority of Americans in both political parties hold religious beliefs and the freedom to hold these beliefs belongs to us all.
  • New Jersey citizens have, and continue to possess, specific religious and parental rights that have been a part of the NJ mandatory vaccine state statute for decades and whose language is further upheld in the New Jersey Constitution. *Previous New Jersey Republican and Democratic administrations have both come to the understanding that it is possible to protect both the public health and religious and parental rights.
  • New Jersey officials charged with implementing the mandatory vaccination statute were specifically instructed that they “should not question whether the parent’s professed religious statement or stated belief is reasonable, acceptable, sincere and bona fide in practice.” Further, “if the statement contains the word “religion” or “religious” or some reference thereto, then the statement should be accepted and the religious exemption of mandatory immunization(s) granted.”
  • The bill would coerce families with religious exemptions to vaccination into vaccinating by threatening to remove their child(ren) from school. New Jersey children would be denied an education, denied special services, barred from participating in extracurricular activities, summer camp, daycare, recreational sports and more.
  • STAND and affirm that New Jersey residents will vote on November 5th for those assemblymen, and women, and candidates that also stand for the preservation of religious freedom.

Have A Question?

Multiple times over the past 10+ years, the New Jersey legislature has faced significant pressure from special interests to eliminate the religious exemption to mandatory vaccination. Each time, these attempts were decisively stopped as huge numbers of voters rose up in opposition. Many hundreds of citizens repeatedly traveled to Trenton with just a couple days’ notice to testify at hearings that were so crowded that overflow rooms barely contained our numbers.

As concerned parents, professionals, and citizens organizing for political influence, we worked with both Democratic and Republican administrations, including Governors Corzine and Christie, and came to the understanding that it is possible to protect both the public health and our religious and parental rights.

As a result, the New Jersey health commissioner wrote a strongly worded statement affirming the people’s rights. Officials charged with implementing the mandatory vaccination statute were specifically instructed that they “should not question whether the parent’s professed religious statement or stated belief is reasonable, acceptable, sincere and bona fide in practice.” Further, “if the statement contains the word “religion” or “religious” or some reference thereto, then the statement should be accepted and the religious exemption of mandatory immunization(s) granted.”

The intent of this 2008 memo was repeated in 2017, that New Jerseyans have, and continue to possess, specific religious and parental rights that have been a part of the NJ state statute for decades and whose language is further upheld in Article 1 of the New Jersey State Constitution:

3. No person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience….

….

5. No person shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil or military right, nor be discriminated against in the exercise of any civil or military right, nor be segregated in the militia or in the public schools, because of religious principles, race, color, ancestry or national origin.

It is no accident that religious rights and the free exercise thereof is an Article 1 (and First Amendment) issue. Religious freedom is a foundational issue. The very origins of our country were forcefully secured and proudly celebrated in the fierce exultation of religious freedom. It is part of who we are and it is a non-partisan privilege. The linking of the political and religious right has been a strategic expedience seized upon by both parties to the severe detriment of the collective. There is no doubt that bad things have been done in the name of religion as they have been done in the name of many other things. There is also no doubt that the vast majority of Americans in both political parties hold religious beliefs and the freedom to hold these beliefs belongs to us all. Read more on religious freedom in America and share the information with your friends and religious leaders. 

Once again, the New Jersey legislature is moving to remove religious freedom by taking away religious exemptions to vaccination. New Jersey’s current laws (N.J.A.C. 8:57-4.3 and N.J.A.C. 8:57-4.4) protect public health interests and religious freedom. Assemblyman Conaway (District 7) and Assemblywoman Jasey (District 27) introduced Bill A3818 which, as amended, would completely eliminate the religious exemption to vaccination.

The bill would coerce families with religious exemptions to vaccination into vaccinating by threatening to remove their child(ren) from school. This action would be devastating to thousands of New Jersey families that identify as a part of a school community and cannot afford to homeschool. New Jersey children would be denied an education, denied special services, barred from participating in extracurricular activities, summer camp, daycare, recreational sports and more. This bill institutes discrimination and isolation for New Jersey children, regardless of their health status, based on vaccine status.

No-exceptions public health laws, which enforce liability-free and unavoidably unsafe pharmaceutical products in the name of the greater good, violate basic human rights to bodily sovereignty, informed consent, religious freedom, and conscientious decision making. The removal of religious exemptions affects all citizens rights to make decisions for ourselves and our families.

On November 5, 2019, the entire New Jersey General Assembly is up for election.  It’s time to STAND and affirm that New Jersey residents will vote on November 5th for those assemblymen, and women, and candidates that also stand for the preservation of religious exemptions to vaccination.

Sign the petition today, regardless of your religious beliefs or your vaccination choices, to show your legislators that New Jersey men and women are committed to voting for legislators that uphold religious freedom. The petition will be delivered to each member of the general assembly and the candidates.

Without Religious Freedom, the State Is God

Jill Hines

Directory of Advocacy
A former banker turned homeschool mom, Jill Hines began researching alternatives to conventional medicine in 2010 and what she discovered changed the trajectory of her life. She corrected a worrisome health issue, and embraced a natural approach to wellness. Advocating for informed consent and parental rights became a full-time mission when she joined the board of the Georgia Coalition for Vaccine Choice and later became the co-director of Health Freedom Louisiana. Due to her advocacy efforts during the COVID crisis, Jill was one of 25 Louisianans selected by Central City News as “a hero of the constitutional crisis.” She was also presented the Impact Award for Outstanding Public Service from the government watchdog organization Citizens for a New Louisiana. Jill now represents hundreds of millions of Americans who experienced censorship due to the Biden administration's efforts to suppress disfavored speech as a plaintiff in the landmark lawsuit Missouri v. Biden. Jill holds a marketing degree from Louisiana Tech University and now passionately “sells” health freedom full-time. Serving as Stand for Health Freedom’s advocacy director provides an incredible opportunity to advance the growing movement to preserve the sacred right to refuse unwanted medical interventions for ourselves and our children without fear of retribution.
“We have lived through a terrifying societal, psychological, and medical experiment which afforded us a knowledge that our forefathers tried to impart and we can no longer ignore: Our freedom is tenuous. For our children’s sake, the time is now to take a stand for health freedom.”

Chrissy Scott

Executive Assistant and Social Media Manager

A labor and delivery nurse with a lifelong passion for maternal and fetal health, Chrissy Scott left her job of 19 years after learning the truth about the harms caused by the medical system. In 2009, she was mandated by her employer to receive the H1N1 vaccine during her first trimester of pregnancy with her second child. She was assured that the vaccine was “safe and effective” for pregnant women, but her son was born with a kidney defect that could have been fatal. She didn’t connect the dots to vaccine injury until several years later when the declining health of her oldest son drove her to seek answers outside of allopathic medicine.

This personal journey ignited in her a new passion for truth and transparency in health care. As SHF’s Executive Assistant, Chrissy facilitates communication and local advocacy initiatives alongside Leah Wilson for their home state of Indiana. She also manages and creates graphics for SHF’s social media accounts and the website’s swag shop.

Chrissy earned her nursing degree from Anderson University and served her entire career at her local hospital. While she’s no longer a floor nurse, her five very active boys frequently test her nursing skills! She homeschools her children and has been co-owner of a successful home décor sign business with her sister.

“Parents, being the experts on their own children, are best suited to make decisions for the well-being of their family. To do this properly, they must be given full and accurate information and be free from force or coercion.”

Ellen Chappelle

Writer/Editor

Ellen Chappelle serves as SHF’s resident wordsmith. A seasoned writer and editor, she’s enthusiastic about ensuring that our content is clear, concise, and inspiring.

Ellen is most energized by working on projects that transform lives. A truth seeker as well as a journalist, she’s disturbed by the lack of accuracy in today’s media and determined to help share fact rather than fiction. And having found greater healing with alternative approaches, she’s also passionate about preserving our freedom to make informed health choices.

Past projects include serving as regional editor of a dog magazine, color and trend specialist for a small cosmetics company, arts columnist, newspaper reporter, ghostwriter, and creator of website content for artists and small businesses.

With a degree in journalism and theatre, Ellen is also a performer. She enjoyed singing and dancing on a cruise ship and traveling with a national musical theatre tour, as well as recording industrial videos, television commercials, and radio voiceovers. She also creates handcrafted jewelry in wire, chain maille, and fused glass.

“Despite what some would have us believe, the fact remains that this nation was founded on biblical principles by people who wanted freedom to worship God and live their lives without government involvement. It’s never been more critical to fight for those rights.”

LEAH WILSON

Executive Director and Co-founder

An attorney with a background in complex litigation and advocacy, Leah Wilson is passionate about children’s health and has researched and worked on child welfare issues for more than a decade.

The overmedication of children in foster care as a form of behavior management is what compelled Leah to become an advocate and foster parent. During her time as a court-appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children, Leah witnessed the rampant use of psychiatric drugs among foster kids. She also discovered that, in addition to many extensive requirements, the state had a policy that all foster children and foster families be fully vaccinated, without exception. Through her involvement in law, health and the foster care system, it became abundantly clear to Leah that the single most important issue affecting child welfare in the United States is the practice of one-size-fits-all medicine via medical mandates. This motivated Leah to expand her advocacy beyond foster care to all children nationwide and to start Stand for Health Freedom (SHF) in 2019.

A graduate of the Saint Louis University School of Law, Leah holds dual bachelor degrees in political science and Spanish from Indiana University. In addition to her advocacy work with SHF, Leah is the owner and former operations director of MaxLiving Indy, one of the largest natural health centers in the Midwest. She is also an educator on holistic health as well as a sought-after speaker on issues ranging from religious rights to greening your home.

“Parental rights and religious freedom are God-given natural rights that cannot arbitrarily be taken away by government authorities. Parents are the single most important factor in a child’s success; I stand in full support of this sacred relationship.”

Sayer JI

Director and Co-founder

Sayer Ji is a widely recognized researcher, author, lecturer, activist, and educator on natural health modalities. Among his many roles, he is an advisor to Stand for Health Freedom, a reviewer and editor of the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, an advisory board member of the National Health Federation, a steering committee member of the Global GMO Free Coalition, and the co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed Inc., a revolutionary scientific validation framework.

Most notably, Sayer is the founder of Greenmedinfo.com, the world’s most widely referenced, evidence-based natural health resource of its kind. He founded the platform in 2008 to provide an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. Today, Greenmedinfo.com has more than a million visits per month, serving as a trusted resource on myriad health and wellness topics to physicians, healthcare practitioners, clinicians, researchers and consumers worldwide.

Sayer attended Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where he studied under the notable American philosopher Dr. Bruce W. Wilshire. He received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy in 1995, with a focus on the philosophy of science. His new book, Regenerate: Unlocking Your Body’s Radical Resilience through the New Biology, was released in March 2020 and is an Amazon bestseller.

“I truly believe that education will be our greatest shield against accelerating the erosion of civil liberties, including the right to bodily sovereignty, as well as the greatest catalyst for positive change on this planet moving forward.”

Bailey Kuykendoll

Associate Director

Designer and visual marketer Bailey Kuykendoll began advocating for health and religious freedom and parental rights in 2014 after learning she was pregnant. A self-described skeptic, she’s not afraid to ask questions and do copious amounts of research to reach her own conclusions.

She’s also not afraid of hard work. As SHF’s Associate Director, Bailey truly keeps the organizational boat afloat. Working closely with our State Directors in each state, she ensures that SHF has calls-to-action for health-freedom bills and petitions on our website and across social media, spreading the word to encourage people to contact their legislators. She builds campaigns, graphics, website pages, and relationships.

Bailey earned a design degree from Harrington Institute of Design in 2008. She then served as a production assistant on several shows for HGTV, followed by working behind the scenes on the X Factor, small indie films, music videos, and documentaries. Bailey joined Health Freedom Florida after moving to the East Coast, becoming co-president of the grassroots organization in 2019. While at Health Freedom Florida, she successfully filed a state bill designed to stop discrimination based on your health status. She joined SHF in the fall of 2020.

“God placed a calling on my heart back in 2008 to be a part of something bigger for Him. Twelve years later, the opportunity came knocking to help others lean into their natural-born rights and take a stand for themselves and their families. I knew this is where I was called to be, and I have never looked back.”

Valerie Borek

POLICY ANALYST

Valerie Borek is a passionate advocate for health rights and family privacy. A mother of two with degrees in law and biochemistry, she is perfectly positioned to lead SHF advocates through complex health-rights policy. Her work is guided by a love for American values, uncovering truth, and a passion for empowering others. Valerie has served as SHF’s policy analyst since 2021.

Valerie’s understanding of the value of freedom to make one’s own health care choices is not just academic. Health freedom has kept her boys alive and thriving. Her choice to have home births jump-started her advocacy for health privacy. Her eldest son survived a rare and deadly cancer because her family was able to navigate medical care while holding onto values that were sometimes at odds with recommendations.

Before joining SHF, Valerie specialized in health and parenting rights at her boutique law firm, especially surrounding birth and vaccine rights. She advocated for informed consent in health care and transparent food labeling in her state. She helped found the Birth Rights Bar Association and was honored to present their argument to the Delaware Supreme Court that midwifery is not the practice of medicine, in support of a trailblazing midwife.

“Health is the foundation of how we show up in this world to love, serve, and create. Americans are blessed to live in a country that gets stronger the more we protect fundamental rights, like informed consent and privacy, so individuals and families can thrive.”

Mary Katherine LaCroix

DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AND NONPROFIT ADMINISTRATION

Mary Katherine LaCroix became involved with SHF as a volunteer in 2019 when the religious exemption for childhood vaccines was at risk in her home state of New Jersey. She believes strongly that parents have the responsibility for their children’s health, education, and faith formation and that only they have the right to make medical decisions and manage their care.

She has worked in fundraising for more than 25 years at various educational, cultural, human services, and political organizations. A graduate of the University of Scranton, she holds a degree in History and English Literature.

Mary Katherine is thrilled to have this opportunity to work with and help grow SHF, believing that together we can achieve even greater impact in protecting our rights and caring for our loved ones. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children and large extended family, as well as volunteering to support the special needs community.

“Parents are taught that they must trust the experts. That’s what we did, until we learned that the experts can be wrong and don’t always know what is best for your child. Parents should instead feel empowered by their natural, God-given ability to advocate and care for their children. SHF is here to give them the tools to do just that.”

Sheila Ealey

Political Analyst

Dr. Sheila Lewis Ealey is the founder and former director of the Creative Learning Center of Louisiana, a therapeutic day school for children who are on the autism spectrum or struggling with other nonverbal intellectual disabilities. The wife of a former U.S. Coast Guard Officer, she is also the mother of four children. Her son was diagnosed with severe autism spectrum disorder at 18 months. He is now a young man and considered moderate and emerging.

Sheila and her twins were featured in the documentary “Vaxxed.” She has traveled extensively, advocating for medical freedom. She continues to educate disenfranchised parents about their fundamental rights to religious and philosophical exemptions, their ability to live sustainably on a limited budget, and the importance of nutrition and biomedical interventions for optimum health with autism. She also writes individual homeschool curriculums for parents of children with autism or intellectual disorders. Sheila is a trustee for the Autism Trust, USA, and on the board of directors of Children’s Health Defense.

Over the past 20 years, she has educated herself to use natural healing modalities for the body and brain. Her formal education includes degrees in communication, special education curriculum, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership in Special Education. Sheila serves as an assistant content advisor and political analyst for SHF.

“It is not the Constitution’s job to protect our liberties, as it is not a philosophical document but a legal one. Its purpose is to limit the powers and authority of our federal government in hopes of preventing an intrusion upon our unalienable rights. We are obliged to maintain our government within its limits.”

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