Vaccination status discrimination is deplorable in any situation, but when it prevents loving homes from welcoming Hoosier children in need, there is a little extra sting!
H4ML first started working to put an end to vaccine discrimination within the foster care system in the summer of 2022. During the special session, H4ML activists applied pressure to legislators demanding loving foster care homes be opened. More on this later!
We launched a petition and heard story after story of loving families working through the process to become licensed foster homes only to be denied at the last moment.
These families were not denied because their homes were unfit.
These families were denied solely based on the vaccination status of family members.
Indiana has a shortage of foster families, and yet loving homes were being denied based on vaccine discrimination.
H4ML was determined to help children in need and the families ready to welcome them into their homes.
Passing legislation on controversial issues like vaccination status doesn’t just happen. It takes diligent work and political respect…
Political respect isn’t about building relationships.
Political respect is a result of consistent accountability… and sometimes fear.
Well, perhaps, mostly fear.
When politicians begin to fear that they will lose their seats for failing to live up to campaign promises and the requirement of REPRESENTING constituents, they begin to take action.
This legislative victory, defeating vaccination discrimination, is the direct result of Hoosiers stepping up, clearly communicating, and being consistent in fighting for medical liberty.
You all should be very proud of yourselves!
Many, myself included, were worried about what Medical Liberty legislation would look like this year without our tried and true champions, Representative Curt Nisly & Representative John Jacob. I truly miss working with these gentlemen on the “inside.”
They were fearless in their defense of Medical Liberty, never hesitating to file amendments and do the difficult things. These champions were able to rack up several roll call votes (more on this important topic soon) and by working with H4ML we were able to effectively force legislative change like the “vaccine passport ban” in 2021, and HB1001 “COVID exemptions” in 2022.
Moving forward after their loss, we knew things would be different in the legislature, but the legacy of their diligent work and political respect lives on. H4ML will continue to utilize the hard work of Rep Nisly & Rep Jacob for years to come.
This years legislative success is proof that the GOP establishment cannot take away the power of the people by removing great Legislators.
This is a milestone for Hoosiers!
Let’s talk about diligence and political respect.
In August, H4ML applied pressure, and Rep Chris Judy offered up an amendment allowing religious exemptions for potential foster families but quickly withdrew it. The GOP establishment made idle promises that the bill would be heard in committee during the 2023 session if he withdrew. He believed them.
We met with Judy, as he is my representative, and he insisted that nothing more than exemptions could be done.
I was not satisfied with this answer. I took my preferred language to newly elected Senator Dr. Tyler Johnson. This language would prevent vaccine status discrimination from occurring for foster families and adoptive families. NO. EXEMPTIONS. NEEDED.
Dr. Johnson felt that the language was appropriate and agreed to have the bill written. It was filed at SB 272. Unfortunately, this bill died in committee.
Judy also filed his foster care exemptions bill and it never received a hearing, despite the promises made to him in August.
We can only conclude that either Judy did not have the political respect of his peers, or he really never intended to work on eliminating discriminatory practices from foster care. Some might suggest that BOTH of these are true.
February 9th, Indiana DCS sent out an administrative letter (found here) stating that DCS would no longer limit foster homes based on the vaccination status of foster family members.
We knew this was nothing more than appeasement.
Administrative letters can be overturned in the blink of an eye and mean very little in the way of political success for controversial issues.
But why would DCS & the Governor go through the trouble of issuing this letter?
The week before the letter was issued, H4ML exposed the plans of the Governor & his Public Health Commission to centralize public health using coercive means for counties wishing to be autonomous. The Indy Star published an article titled “Will Eric Holcomb’s COVID lockdown kill his public health overhaul?”
Gov. Holcomb & the Establishment were feeling the political power of H4ML activists.
Holcomb needed political cover.
He needed to make Hoosiers feel a sense of safety.
He severely underestimated the voracity of Hoosier’s drive for Medical Liberty.
Hoosiers were not going to be fooled by the false promise of Liberty.
In an effort to double down and move forward with true protections, H4ML began looking for places to insert the language that was now supported by DCS into a bill.
The legislature had no excuse not to pass this language.
H4ML had also been working with Representative Becky Cash & Representative Lorissa Sweet, they agreed that removing discrimination was important.
H4ML identified HB 1560 “Adoption” as a potential home for the foster care legislation.
Representative Sweet applied 3 different amendments encompassing foster care and adoption. Representative Cash applied 2 amendments addressing vaccine discrimination in adoption.
Ultimately the amendments were not called. However, the Reps were told by other members of the house that they felt the language could be added to another bill.
That same week Rep. Sweet obtained a roll call vote on another controversial issue, solidifying her political power.
Roll call votes are imperative! (We will create another post about this soon!)
Rep Sweet showed the rest of the house that she was not afraid to do the right thing and expose legislators who would vote against good legislation if they could get away with it.
Representative Sweet is a credible threat to the corruption within the statehouse.
As it would have it March 15th the language Rep Sweet offered as an amendment encompassing both foster care and adoption was added into SB 345.
If it weren’t for the political respect that Rep Sweet garnered through that roll call vote, the pressure exerted by H4ML Activists on multiple fronts, and Rep Sweet & Rep Cash pushing the others to apply the amendment, and the looming threat of another roll call vote- this legislative victory might not have happened.
You will not be politically respected until you are politically feared.
That is the bottom line. No political respect unless there is political fear.
This could all disappear in an instant.
If politicians do not fear losing their seats, they will not truly represent the will of the people.
How do we ensure continued success?
Ashley Grogg RN-MSN sharing insights, tips, and updates on Medical Liberty throughout the Hoosier state.