On Thursday, former ESPN reporter Allison Williams testified in Congress, nearly two years after she lost her job with the network for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Williams was fired from ESPN in 2021, citing fertility treatments as the reason she had not taken the vaccine. Last year, Williams found a position as a college football sideline reporter with Fox Sports and has worked with the Daily Wire as well.

Williams appeared before the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, chaired by Ohio Rep. Brad Wenstrup, to detail her experience.

“On April 1st, 2021, Disney sent an email to all employees stating that, ‘Getting the vaccine is a personal decision for each of us,’” Williams began, as reported by OutKick. “That position

Williams “retained hope” that she would keep her job on religious or medical grounds and be allowed to do her work remotely. During this time, she had been working with fertility specialists in hopes of having a second child. 

She said she received documentation from her doctor supporting her request for a medical exemption but that it was not accepted by ESPN.

“I was notified due to the large number of medical exemption requests received, they were having a clinic-wide meeting to discuss how best to handle them. After said meeting, I was informed that as a clinic they would not be providing any medical exemptions for any patients,” Williams continued.

“Instead, I was referred to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the CDC website. Despite my doctor’s acknowledgment that this medical intervention was unnecessary for me as an individual, a blanket approach was taken for all patients, disregarding our specific needs and risks.”

When this request was denied, she changed course and sought a religious exemption instead. 

“I subsequently notified ESPN that I would be modifying from a medical to a religious accommodation request. I had a valid and sincere opposition to this injection in regard to my scheduled IVF [in-vitro fertilization] transfer. I also have valid and sincere religious objections to the COVID-19 vaccine,” Williams said.

“The extent and basis of my beliefs were questioned and they were discussed at length with human resources representatives from ESPN. The sincerity of my religious beliefs was acknowledged, but it was determined I could not continue to be employed without creating an undue burden upon the company. I was given one week to comply and get the injection or be separated from the company. I did not receive the vaccine as my beliefs did not change that week and therefore I was terminated as an employee.

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“Just like that, newly pregnant, I was stripped of my job, my health insurance, and having my personal and medical decisions be the topic of national news.”

Williams said the company’s decision not only took a “financial toll” on her family, but led to bullying and ostracism.

“The financial toll it took on me and my family and so many like ours was significant. And it is still enduring the lost wages and sacrifices made by families like mine who stood up to the overreaching, unjustified mandates to preserve their autonomy and health can never be fully recovered. But the impact wasn’t just on our livelihoods, it was on our lives,” Williams said.

“We were bullied, vilified, slandered and ostracized. Nights were sleepless days consumed by doubt and worry. Thankfully, my resolve strengthened with constant prayer. Faith in God and the support of loved ones. As I, like so many others, tried to come to terms with my new reality and reconsider how to provide for my family.”

Williams concluded by saying that she hopes that the “tyranny” of mandated vaccines never again occurs with American citizens.

“Our own elected government officials shamed us. Anyone who didn’t obediently follow orders to get in line and roll up their sleeves was portrayed as an enemy and a threat, with no regard given to natural immunity, personal convictions, convictions, religious beliefs, or individual health. All valid reasons for declining this injection,” Williams said. “If you were unvaccinated, you were part of the problem.

“And that’s why today I hope to be part of the solution to make sure this type of tyranny never happens again in this great country, that we acknowledge the misguided directives and unnecessary harms done to countless Americans, harms caused not by the virus, but by the response,” she continued. “If we are truly the land of the free, the one thing that should be mandated is that we will never trample the civil liberties and bodily autonomy again.”

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