This week’s Map Monday addresses religious exemptions for parents seeking to opt out of certain protocols of healthcare for children.
The map above illustrates the varying policies for full exemptions and health care requirements of person under the age of 18, by state.
47 states have religious exemptions from immunizations. Mississippi, West Virginia, and California are the only states that require all children to be immunized without exception for religious belief.
38 states and D.C. allow religious exemptions in civil codes regarding child abuse and/or neglect as well as ‘failure to report’ statutes. In 1974, a policy requiring states to enact policies such as these was enacted in order for states to receive federal funding for child protection work.
The map below, provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures, illustrates under what grounds a parent can exempt their child from vaccination requirements.
This map is adapted from the National Conference on State Legislatures, which cites the Immunization Action Coalition, an immunization advocacy group, for the data.