Saturday, September 24, 2016

Visiting NY Lawmakers

Dear Friends,

Immunizations/Vaccinations are important to us. Usually, I write something up in late winter/early spring to let you know what bills are proposed for the NY Legislative Session, which usually lasts from January to June. And, I usually urge you to contact your State lawmakers.

Last year, I read that a NY lawmaker was going to propose a bill to take away the religious exemption to vaccinations, for such a bill had already passed in California. Since NY lawmakers like to follow either the Federal government or other States, I knew people had to mobilize.

Since the lawmakers were in recess and back in their home districts, I thought a very good time to contact them would be in the Fall. Thus, I was able to get two other women to come with me to the local offices of our representatives. (I live in Northern New York and because the population is smaller our lawmakers cover more territory. Our Assemblymember covers St. Lawrence County and Jefferson County, while our NY State Senator covers St. Lawrence County, Jefferson County and Oswego County. They both have offices in Dulles State Office Building in Watertown, but also have local offices in each County.)

I was able to get two other women to come with me in November to our State Senator's local office in Ogdensburg. We met with her aide and gave him some information and urged him to pass on to her our opposition to the proposed bill. He then assured us that she was in favor of religious rights and would vote against the proposed bill. We did the same with the aide of our Assemblywoman, although her office is located in Canton. That aide let us know that the Assemblywoman also was in favor of religious rights. The aide also told us that she, personally, was in favor of vaccinations.

Visiting the local offices of our representatives was fairly convenient for none of us had to travel very far and thus, it did not take up a lot of our day. The visits typically lasted about one- half hour and gave us each the opportunity to voice our position and ask questions, as well as to have time for the aides to ask us questions. The aides also commented that it was a good time for they were not in the midst of the busy Legislative Session and they appreciated the timing of our visit.

As 2016 came and the Legislative Session started, I thought it would be good to try and get someone from the other Counties to do the same. I had a contact in Jefferson County and she was willing to see the lawmakers in their Watertown offices, as long as I came along and did most of the talking for she felt she couldn't do the issue justice. However, she had lost touch with anyone she previously knew who was interested in the issue. I also had another contact who never got back to me, but had stated that her daughter was interested in the issue.

In March I contacted the lawmakers' offices to set up an appointment. And the following experiences are something I never imagined or have previously experienced in any other lawmaker contact over 30 years!! The Assemblywoman's staff right away gave me an appointment day and time. They asked who else would be coming and I gave the name of the other woman (this is a usual procedure). I am sorry to say, however, the “scheduler” for the State Senator has put us off since April and we have yet to have had an appointment with her! To me, this is most unusual behavior for a lawmaker's office.

For the appointment with the Assemblywoman I did things differently from when I met with the aides in the local offices. By the April appointment, I had purchased copies of “Bought,” a film that covered vaccines, big pharma and our food supply. So, I brought along a copy to give to the Assemblywoman. I also brought along information regarding the HPV vaccine and info from the Cochrane Collaboration ( regarding the flu vaccine for children, healthcare workers and those over age 65. (The Cochrane Collaboration is an independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, etc. who work to help us make informed choices using best evidence from research. They are supported, in part, by the World Health Organization, Wikipedia, Wiley Medical Publishing and others). I also brought a copy of my 2000 brochure, “13 Reasons Not to Vaccinate.”

We had been told in advance that the Assemblywoman had another appointment and that basically we had 30 minutes with her. No problem, except that she spent most of the time talking social stuff with us. Aware of the time constraint, I kept coming back to the issue and also gave her the above-mentioned information, which she glanced at while I was talking. She stated that a group of young mothers had seen her a few weeks earlier on the issue. She also stated that they had wanted her to do something in writing, but she refused. The Assemblywoman stated that she gave her word and that is enough. (Again, something unusual for lawmakers for they usually tout how many letters, etc. they respond to from constituents.)

However, in order to try and get some response about vaccination from her, about a month later, I wrote the Assemblywoman and asked what she thought of the information and documentary that we left with her. Until now, no response.

I wanted to share this experience with you because I hope it encourages you to call or visit your lawmakers and, hopefully, bring even one other person with you, for numbers count. Of course, the best way to judge how effective we are is to then see how our lawmakers vote when the issues come up.

Bonnie Franz

P.S. If you know of anyone who lives in my Legislative Districts, please have them contact me for I still plan on getting to see our State Representative and if I can bring more people, so much the better.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Religious Exemption at Risk in New York

Dear Friends,

How important are “rights” to you? Religious rights? If they are, then read on for the 2016 New York State Legislative session is ready to take those rights away from you.

Assembly bill 08329 and Senate bill 06017 are bills to repeal the religious exemption to vaccination in New York State. These bills are in the forefront because of the 2015 “measles outbreaks” in California, and because the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is pushing for it. Lawmakers usually do what the CDC recommends. Also, The March of Dimes has come out in support of this bill—not a surprise for they have supported the use of vaccines for over 75 years.* Ironically, 99% of public school students are fully immunized and 88% of private school students.**

Thus, the aim of these bills is to put ultimate control of our lives in the hands of the government and the medical profession, where virtually 100% agree that vaccinations should happen and for all age groups.

According to the Cochrane Collaboration (a global, independent network funded by the World Health Organization, Wikipedia, Wiley, Guidelines International Network and others), the MMR vaccine is associated with aseptic meningitis, but not autism. However, in their February 15, 2012 article “Using the combined vaccine for protection of children against measles, mumps and rubella,” their conclusion is that “The design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies, both pre-and post marketing, are largely inadequate.”***

I would like to focus on the historical perspective by referring to the work of one who I consider the first whistleblower in regard to vaccines: In 1967 Sir Graham Wilson, MD, wrote THE HAZARDS OF IMMUNIZATION. He stated:
“...The woeful record I present of the accidents attendant on immunization...have never been reported in print, either through fear of compensation claims, or of giving a weapon to anti-vaccinationists...”, p. 4.
I am not surprised at this, nor should you be. For over 20 years, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has commented on the lack of research into the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. And, apparently, when such research is done and shows negative effects that jeopardize the pro-vaccine movement, it is suppressed. 

So, if you want to fight to protect our rights, now is the time for you to take Action.

Rita Palma of My Kids, My Choice,**** and Jim Gilmore of Autism Action Network***** have been going around NYS trying to organize people to contact their lawmakers. This needs to be done by June 1 for after that the Legislative Session goes by very fast and it is too late. It is time for good people to take a stand, otherwise, we're boiled frogs.

If anyone lives in the 48th Senate District (St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Oswego Counties) with Patty Ritchie as the representative and the 116th Assembly District (River District) with Addie Russell as the representative, contact me at

Bonnie Franz

* “Bill would eliminate religious exemptions for childhood vaccinations,” The Legislative Gazette, January 27, 2016
** “Thousands of N.Y. Children lack immunization,” Press and Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton, New York, June 15, 2015
*****  Email: