At a rally put on by Texans for Vaccine Choice , approximately 200 men, women, and children gathered on the South steps of the Capitol in support of vaccine choice. The rally was held to bring awareness to legislation currently filed.
The crowds were immediately ignited by Texans for Vaccine Choice’s Jackie Schlegel who called out three republicans, Rep. Jason Villalba, Rep. Sarah Davis, and Rep. J.D. Sheffield, for their anti-vaccine choice.
Rep. Sarah Davis has filed four bills related to identifying those who exempt themselves from
vaccines, as well as promoting general reports and information on various vaccines, and Rep.
J.D. Sheffield has filed a bill related to providing immunization records on college campuses. All three legislators have been outspoken supporters of immunization mandates.
The group was also joined by five pro-vaccine choice legislators including Rep. Bill Zedler, Rep. Matt Shaheen, Rep. Briscoe Cain, Rep. Jonathan Stickland, and Rep. Valoree Swanson.
The event was opened with Rep. Briscoe Cain leading a prayer, surrounded by the children in
attendance, emphasizing the Group’s focus on children’s safety and parental rights.
Rep. Bill Zedler, a long-time medical consultant, was a crowd favorite, comparing the current
medical practices on vaccines with the frequent maintenance you receive on your car. “The
other side wants to treat us like automobiles. . .We don’t believe in cookie cutter medicine”, he
Representatives Shaheen and Swanson spoke about their fight in the legislature to protect
parental choice on vaccine issues. Rep. Swanson specifically explained her journey to
understanding issues surrounding vaccine choice that led her to be an advocate for vaccine
choice in the legislature.
Rep. Jonathan Stickland, a rockstar in the vaccine choice movement, closed out the event. He spoke in even more detail about vaccine safety stating that “where there is risk, there must be choice!” He explained that the opposition asks him “Why do you associate with those crazy vaccine people?” After a brief pause, Rep. Stickland responded: “Because I am one of them!”
The crowd erupted in applause.
The attendees of the rally broke up into groups and did office visits to speak with legislators
about vaccine choice and parental rights.
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