Group that includes 5 moms challenging Ontario's vaccination child law
Pipettes containing immune cells for testing against possible flu vaccines are seen in the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
TORONTO - A group that includes five Ontario mothers is challenging the province's child vaccination law, alleging it violates a number of constitutional rights.
The parents and the non-profit organization Vaccine Choice Canada allege the Immunization of School Pupils Act breaches the rights to freedom of conscience and religion and to liberty and security of the person, among others.
The law states that parents must ensure their children are vaccinated against a certain list of diseases unless they obtain a medical exemption.
Parents can also obtain an exemption if they sign a statement of conscience or religious belief, but as of 2017, they must first attend an information session on vaccination.
Under the law, children whose parents do not comply can be suspended from school on order from a medical officer of health.
The allegations have not been tested in court and the province has not yet filed a statement of defence, but a spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott said the government is committed to ensuring a strong and effective immunization system.