Veteran NASA engineer says she’ll RETIRE if her application for a religious exemption from COVID vaccine is rejected and insists it’s her First Amendment right NOT to get the shot
- Sophia Smith, a NASA engineer of 37 years, said she will retire if her religious exemption claim against the COVID-19 vaccine is denied
- Smith, a member of the Johnson Space Center Praise and Worship Club, was against the vaccine studies using fetal cell lines
- She held a protest last week with more than 100 employees against the vaccine mandate requiring all government employees to be vaccinated
- NASA said it has yet to determine would will be exempt from the mandate
Sophia Smith, a Christian member of the Johnson Space Center Praise and Worship Club, said it was her First Amendment right to not be vaccinated and said she took issue with fetal cell lines used to develop the vaccines as a pro-life advocate.
She added that she was not anti-vax, but wanted to exercise her right to not be injected with something she does not agree with.
‘If people want to get vaccinated, great. But for those of us that do not, we should not be forced to choose between our job and the vaccine,’ Smith told Fox News.
Sophia Smith, A NASA engineer of 37 years and a Christian member of the Johnson Space Center Praise and Worship Club, said she would not get the vaccine
Smith organized a protest of NASA employees outside the Johnson Space Center, in Houston
More than 100 employees joined Smith in rejecting the vaccine mandate at the space center
Smith, who was already set to retire last year, helped organize a protest last week with more than 100 employees in front of the Johnson Space Center, in Houston, Texas.
She said she and her fellow employees love their jobs, but don’t want to follow Biden’s mandate that all federal employees be vaccinated.
Karen Northon, a NASA spokeswoman, said the agency is still reviewing exemption requests and has not yet made any decisions.
‘As the agency reviews and processes the requests, it is following all guidelines provided by the administration, as well as existing policies and regulations governing reasonable accommodations,’ Northon said.
Smith said that her group opposing the vaccine was growing, and that there will be more protests in the coming weeks.
‘I have more and more people telling me they’re leaving, quitting, retiring,’ Smith told the Government Executive.
Even if she retires, Smith added that she would continue to work with her colleagues and First Liberty United, a Christian conservative legal non-profit that has promised to go to court to fight against any members’ exemption request denial.
Many Christian and Catholic groups have longed opposed the COVID-19 vaccine due to fetal cell lines involved in their development.
Military Services Archbishop Timothy Broglio recently said no one should be forced to receive the vaccine despite the vaccine being approved by Pope Francis and the Catholic Church.
The pope told reporters last month that vaccines were for the ‘common good’ of the people and was puzzled as to why people would refuse them.
‘It’s a bit strange because humanity has a history of friendship with vaccines,’ Pope Francis said
The employees claim it is their First Amendment right to reject the vaccines
Smith said more protests were planned for the future as the group grows in size
As the government’s deadline approaches, several other public agencies are also falling behind the vaccine mandate.
About 88 per cent of the health care staff at the Veteran’s Agency were vaccinated by October 8, while only half of the more than 36,000 employees in the Bureau of Prisons have gotten the jab, according to the Government Executive.
The Transportation Security Administration is also lagging behind at 60 per cent.
Union officials for the Bureau of Prisons said an estimated 10 to 20 percent of workers would leave their jobs due to the vaccine mandate, while TSA officials said the agency is working on ‘contingency plans’ for a mass exodus of employees.