A teenager from Kentucky is suing his school for barring him from playing basketball and attending classes because he refuses to get vaccinated against chickenpox.
The 18-year-old teen, who is a basketball captain at Walton’s Catholic school, is determined not to get vaccinated on religious grounds and believes that the school is violating his rights.
As Jerome Kunkel said, he believes that vaccines “contain aborted fetal cells” and isn’t ready to accept that due to his strong religious standing.
His firm stance, however, has gotten him banned from playing basketball at the school’s premises and completing his final term classes at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Assumption Academy.
Despite his objections, the school is not ready to take any chances amid an outbreak that caused 32 people to get infected.
“The fact that I can’t finish my senior year of basketball like our last couple games is pretty devastating. I mean you go through four years of high school, playing basketball, but you look forward to your senior year,” the teen said according to CNN.
According to the law, Kentucky students may skip vaccines on religious grounds provided that they give a sworn statement, a step that Kunkel took last year.
However, the school argues that doesn’t mean that the unvaccinated students have the right to be present on public grounds, as chickenpox is highly contagious.
According to the reports, the origin cells used to develop certain strains of the virus were obtained from two fetuses back in the 1960s. Both fetuses were aborted but not for the sake of developing a vaccine.
The tiny samples were used to artificially grow viruses in the labs and consecutively develop vaccines. As a result, a number of Catholics refuse to get vaccinated as they believe that abortions are a sin that one would become a part of if they got vaccinated.
Despite the National Catholic Bioethics Center urging students to get vaccines developed from different cells and Pope Benedict XVI announcing that it is morally acceptable for children to get vaccinated, some people continue to refuse vaccinations.
“The recent actions taken by the Northern Kentucky Health Department regarding the chickenpox outbreak at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy was in direct response to a public health threat and was an appropriate and necessary response to prevent further spread of this contagious illness,” The Health Department responded to Kunkel’s lawsuit.
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