A Christian student who has never been vaccinated for any illnesses in her entire life is questioning a university's refusal to let her register for classes.
A Christian student named Jackie Gale is embroiled in a battle with the University of Alabama-Birmingham for their mandatory COVID vaccination policy, for which she is against.
Gale, who is a sophomore, reported that she was blocked from registering for classes during the new semester despite having been allowed to register for the school's past semesters without any vaccinations. The Christian student believes that refusing to get any type of vaccination is a way of honoring God and his intention of how humans should be: free of extra chemicals in the body.
According to the Christian Post, Gale has never had a single vaccination in her entire life. This was allowed by the university when she entered as a freshman, but when her second semester was about to start as a sophomore, she attempted to add another class to her schedule when she found that the university placed an administrative hold on her record.
The University of Alabama-Birmingham then required the Christian student to provide proof of her immunizations so she can continue to register for classes. Gale then presented a state-issued religious exemption certificate, which she previously used and that the universe had rejected as invalid at institutions of higher learning. The university then allowed her to enroll with no issues.
However, the same cannot be said for her Fall classes. An official at the university told her that UAB is no longer recognizing her religious exemption. When asked why, the school's administration said she would be given a call. However, Gale only received a one-line message saying "Please refer to our website for more information."
According to the university's official website, exceptions to their immunization policy "may be made in limited circumstances for students who can document medical and/or other contraindications to the vaccine." It added that students enrolled in online classes are exempted from the ruling.
Gale is being represented by Christine Pratt of First Liberty Institute, who argued through a letter to the university that the Christian student is "entitled to continue receiving a religious exemption to UAB's mandatory vaccine policy so that she can register for and attend in-person classes."
FLI further said, "UAB's refusal to recognize Ms. Gale's religious exemption violates both federal and state law, and UAB should revise its policies to provide religious exemptions to students who hold such religious convictions."
The university, which implements a mandatory COVID vaccination policy, must respond to FLI's letter by May 27. Gale, who is 19 years old, was never vaccinated as a child and has attended public schools in Alabama when she moved in the second grade.
She is now battling the university for its mandatory COVID vaccination, which is preventing her from pursuing her studies.
"Alabama's constitution ensures that Jackie's sincerely held religious beliefs cannot be dismissed by UAB," Pratt said in a press release. "It is appalling that UAB is demanding that Jackie violate the deeply held religious beliefs she has honored her entire life."