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Government & Politics

Groups File Lawsuit Challenging Montana’s Ban On Vaccine Mandates

 COVID-19 vaccination record card.
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COVID-19 vaccination record card.

The Montana Medical Association, three health care providers and several patients with compromised immune systems are suing the state over a law that bans employers from mandating vaccines for employees.

The law in question gave vaccine status protection under the Montana Human Rights Act, which in effect prohibits government agencies and businesses from requiring employee vaccinations.

The coalition of health care providers and patients who filed suit are asking the court to exempt hospitals and private physicians from the statute, but are not seeking to overturn the law passed by Republicans in 2021.

The plaintiffs allege the law asks providers to violate federal disability and workforce safety protections, and the state constitution’s equal protection clause.

The Montana Medical Association said in a statement that the law “jeopardizes physicians’ ability to maintain best practice.”

Attorney General Austin Knudsen will defend the state in the case and his spokesperson Emilee Cantrell said in a statement that Knudsen is committed to defending Montanans’ privacy and “ability to make their own healthcare decisions.”

Copyright 2021 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.