Health: Is There a Religious Exemption from Vaccine Mandates?

The Story:

The Supreme Court last week rejected two requests to block New York’s vaccine mandate for health care workers. The regulation in question, a regulation from the state health department, does not include any religious exemption.   


The challengers argue that they cannot comply with the mandate without violating their religious beliefs because all of the vaccines available in the United States were developed or tested with the use of cells that are descended from aborted fetal cells.

The vaccines themselves do not contain material from aborted fetuses, and the use of fetal cell lines (derived from abortions that may have occurred decades before) is routine in the testing and development of drugs.

The matter was before the Supreme Court because the litigants were asking for injunctive relief (an order putting a freeze on mandate enforcement) until the matter could be heard in full.

In Pill Form:

The Supreme Court did not reject the argument for requiring a religious exemption. It only rejected the motion for emergency injunctive relief. The underlying issue will continue to be litigated, in this context and in others.

Three of the Justices dissented from that denial — that is, they would have granted the injunctive relief had they been able to find two more votes. The three dissenters were: Thomas, Gorsuch, and Alito.



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