PIERRE, S.D. —A bill has been introduced that would prohibit schools from discriminating against any person for refusing to accept unwanted medical intervention, including immunizations.

House Bill 1235 states that “No public or nonpublic post secondary educational institutions may mandate any immunizations for school entry. A public or private post secondary educational institution may request any student to submit medical records. No educational institution may use coercive means to require immunization.”

The bill’s prime sponsor is District 21 state Rep. Lee Qualm, R-Platte.

The bill would make it a Class 1 misdemeanor for “any educational institution, medical provider, or person to compel another to submit to immunization,” according to the bill text.

“Every person has the inalienable right to bodily integrity, free from any threat or compulsion that the person accepts any medical intervention, including immunization. No person may be discriminated against for refusal to accept an unwanted medical intervention, including immunization,” the bill states.

Under current state law, “any student entering a public or private post secondary education institution in this state for the first time after July 1, 2008, shall, within 45 days after the start of classes, present to the appropriate institution certification from a licensed physician that the student has received or is in the process of receiving the required two doses of immunization against measles, rubella, and mumps.”

A student who does not have their immunizations must have one of the following under current state law:

  • Certification from a licensed physician stating the physical condition of the student would be such that immunization would endanger the student's life or health.

  • Certification from a licensed physician stating the student has experienced the natural disease against which the immunization protects.

  • Confirmation from a laboratory of the presence of adequate immunity.

  • A written statement signed by the student that the student is an adherent to a religious doctrine whose teachings are opposed to such immunizations. If the student is under the age of 18, the written statement shall be signed by one parent or guardian.