DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa legislative panel has approved a bill that would make it easier for parents to avoid requirements that their children be vaccinated.

The subcommittee approved the bill Thursday, Jan. 26, despite testimony from health care professionals that the move would lower vaccination rates and could ultimately lead to more sick children.

Iowa already allows parents to skip vaccinations based on religious beliefs or medical needs, but the bill would let parents state they simply had a personal conviction against vaccinations.

Dr. Nathan Boonstra, a Des Moines pediatrician, said fewer immunizations could cause “grave concern” for public health.

However, the two Republicans on the three-member panel say parents should have the freedom to make decisions for their children.

The measure now moves to the full House Human Resources Committee.