ACTION ALERT: Florida Senator Files Bill to Remove Religious and Limit Medical Exemptions

Published: Aug 8, 2019

Our Stand

  • SB64, sponsored by Sen. Lauren Book (D-32), seeks to eliminate religious exemptions and limit medical exemptions to mandatory vaccination in Florida. It is dangerous legislation that must be stopped.
  • No-exceptions public health laws, which enforce liability-free 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 US Constitution and Constitution of Florida give citizens the right to observe their religious tenets and to worship and express devotion in a manner of their choosing — without government interference or scrutiny. The removal of religious exemptions will affect citizens’ fundamental rights to make decisions for themselves and their families that are in keeping with their religious tenets.
  • SB64 will create unnecessary, intrusive, and costly state bureaucratic reviews of our private medical decisions, and it will damage the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship.
  • Nearly 300 vaccines are presently under development. If SB64 passes, the entire Florida vaccine schedule (which encompasses several dozen vaccine doses) — and any future vaccines the state may choose to mandate — will be mandatory for virtually all children. In effect, the state will be practicing and enforcing one-size-fits-all medicine; the pharmaceutical industry will benefit, public health will not.

Have A Question?

The Florida legislature is moving to eliminate religious exemptions and limit medical exemptions to mandatory vaccination. SB64, a Florida bill entitled “Exemptions from School-entry Health Requirements” was filed by State Senator Lauren Book (D) on August 2, 2019. This bill draws its key points from two other states, which passed new laws removing religious and parental rights. New York bill S2994A and California bill SB277 terminated religious and philosophical exemptions. California bill SB276 proposes that only state-appointed officials, not your doctors, are permitted to grant vaccine exemptions. Most people don’t like politics and may not follow how a bill becomes a law. It’s time for a crash course in civics. These are your rights as individuals, parents, and patients. You deserve to know what they are, the reasons you have them, and the very serious implications that await you when they are taken away. These laws and bills severely impact your ability to make critically important choices for yourself and your children.

SB 64 would eliminate the religious exemption to vaccines required for public and private school children.  It would also add a new section of law requiring the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine to jointly create a medical exemption review panel that shall review all medical exemptions.” –The National Vaccine Information Center

SB64 doesn’t just impact Floridians who worship in a religious building and read a book that says, “Thou shall not….” Religious rights, and the beliefs they protect, are much broader and more comprehensive. Religious beliefs address the cause, nature, and purpose of your existence. You are entitled to your religious tenets and to worship, observe, and express devotion in the manner of your choosing. There is no hierarchy of religions. All religions are equal. The first of all amendments to the Constitution could not be more clear in its intent and importance. It protects the legitimacy and integrity of all citizens to worship in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience, without interference or scrutiny. The removal of religious exemptions affects every citizen’s right to make decisions for himself and his family.

No-exceptions public health laws, which enforce nearly liability-free pharmaceutical products in the name of the greater good, violate basic human rights to bodily sovereignty, informed consent, religious freedom, and conscientious decision making. Your state representatives are seeking to eliminate your Constitutionally-protected rights to make medical and religious decisions that impact your and your family’s health and well-being. They are trespassing on your privacy and interfering with the trusted relationship you have your doctor. The confidence and faith you hold in your doctors to recommend what’s best for your health and the health of your children is the foundational underpinning of medicine. At best, SB64 will create an unnecessary and costly State bureaucratic review of your private medical decisions. At worst, SB64 will allow politically-appointed officials (who know nothing about you) to overrule your doctors. The Florida Board of Medicine already has procedures in place to investigate and discipline any doctor accused of inappropriate conduct. It will be you, the taxpayer and the patient, bearing the adverse economic and medical burdens of this unnecessary and unduly restrictive law.

Florida currently requires 39 doses of 11 vaccines as a condition of day care and school admission. This is approximately a three-fold increase in the past 25 years and a four-fold increase since the National Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 was passed, granting near blanket liability protection to vaccine makers and the health professionals who administer vaccines. If SB64 passes, the entire current vaccine schedule—and any future vaccines the state may choose to mandate in the future—will be mandatory for virtually all children. In effect, the state will be practicing, and enforcing, one size fits all medicine. Vaccine manufacturers are large and powerful multinational pharmaceutical corporations and vaccines are a $59 billion global industry. Big Pharma spent a record $283 million lobbying government officials in 2018.

It is becoming more difficult to protect your rights to choose how you care for your body. Are you comfortable granting wholesale power to government and industry to decide what pharmaceutical products you must receive?

SB64 needs to be stopped, early and decisively, to protect Florida citizens.  The 2020 legislative session in Florida convenes on 1/14/2020, however, bills are filed in advance. It is very important that families who support the protection of religious and medical exemptions get out ahead of Senator Book’s bill. It is time to reach out to your elected officials and like-minded family and friends and get involved now. Take a stand and click below to contact your Florida legislators.


What to Tell Your FLA Legislators

    1. SB64 repeals religious freedoms and interferes with the doctor-patient relationship. The only person qualified to make a decision about a patient is the patient with guidance and support from his or her doctor, not a state bureaucrat who has no connection to — or history of caring for — the patient. The bill would create a special medical exemption review panel charged with approving and rejecting all medical exemptions, giving the state the authority to play doctor.


    1. The overreach of removing freedoms for public health is not necessary. There is no credible evidence that Florida’s vaccination rates are an issue, and there’s no credible evidence that unvaccinated kids spread illnesses at a higher rate than vaccinated kids. Vaccination rates for Florida school children are already high and exemption numbers are already low. According to state data, only 3% of kindergarteners and 1.7% of 7th graders have religious exemptions. Less than 0.5% of students have medical exemptions. Moreover, infectious disease experts say that illnesses like measles will occur with or without the practice of removing exemptions, as outbreaks are the result of primary and secondary vaccine failure.


    1. Exemption rates are being misrepresented by the bill’s sponsor. The CDC’s ever-expanding vaccine schedule is not accounted for when looking at why exemption numbers have increased. The schedule requires children to receive 69 doses of vaccines for 16 different viral and bacterial illnesses. This is more than double the government-sanctioned childhood schedule of 34 doses of 11 different vaccines in the year 2000. When looking at exemption data, it is incorrect to assume that a student with an exemption is completely unvaccinated, as students with exemptions could be partially vaccinated or simply opting to get a particular vaccination at a later date. That’s because a vaccine exemption must be filed whether someone is seeking an exemption for a single dose or for all required doses. Over the past two decades, 35 doses and five more unique vaccines have been added to the CDC schedule, which has heightened the need for exemptions.


    1. Formal religious doctrine and opinions of religious leaders are immaterial to religious freedom. The right to hold —and exercise — personal religious beliefs is granted by the US Constitution and the Constitution of Florida. Both allow for the freedom to operate by the dictates of your own conscience. Claims by SB64’s sponsor that parents are misusing religious exemptions are not only unsubstantiated, they are misguided. According to the Constitution, someone does not have to belong to an organized religion to be able to exercise their sincerely held religious beliefs, nor does the religion that someone belongs to have to formally oppose vaccinations in order for their beliefs to be deemed sincere or valid.


    1. Vaccine exemptions need to be expanded and preserved for an aggressive and constantly expanding schedule. Vaccines inevitably cause injury and death to some, and manufacturers and doctors have no liability for those injuries or deaths. The US Government has paid out more than $4.2 billion to claimants through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which is funded by a 75-cent consumer excise tax on each recommended childhood vaccine. At present America’s biopharmaceutical research companies are developing nearly 300 vaccines, and the US vaccine market is expected to jump from $36.4 billion to $50.4 billion over the next three years. The pharmaceutical industry is extraordinarily powerful and spends more each year on lobbying than any other industry. With vast resources to influence policy and remove parental rights, the pharmaceutical industry benefits financially every time a vaccine is mandated; it grows their market while forcing a product for which they have zero liability on innocent school children.


  1. Florida already has emergency provisions in place, so the bill is unnecessary. State health and education agencies already have broad unrestricted statutory powers (Statute 1003.22) to adopt rules concerning vaccination, including adding more vaccine mandates and enforcing a schedule. This makes SB64 unnecessary.

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


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.”


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, 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, 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 Relationship Manager, Bailey truly keeps the organizational boat afloat. Working closely with health freedom advocates in each state, she ensures that SHF has campaigns for health-freedom-related 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


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


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.”

Pin It on Pinterest