I am pro COVID-19 vaccine. I believe in the safety of the COVID vaccines and have taken the Pfizer vaccine, as has every member of my family. I strongly encourage people to get the various available vaccines to reduce the health dangers of this unprecedented viral pandemic. Science does not always work perfectly, but I do trust the COVID vaccine scientific process as a Republican state senator and co-ranking leader of the Public Health Committee. Effective persuasion is especially important on the heels of the latest governmental dictum to require COVID vaccinations. Gov. Ned Lamont has mandated COVID vaccines for state employees and all school teachers and staff, public and private. President Joe Biden has mandated vaccines for 100-plus million Americans \u2014 private-sector employees as well as health care workers and federal contractors. Tensions and tempers are on the rise as we acclimate to a second year of the seemingly perpetual state of emergency and threats of COVID variants that have most of our communities on edge. These policies seem to violate the 14th Amendment of due process rights in the U.S. Constitution. However, legal precedents such as Jacobson v. Massachusetts have validated vaccine mandates based on the police powers delegated to the states under the 10th Amendment. The Jacobson ruling gives the state nearly unchecked power to decide how to handle a public health emergency. But that decision and interpretation of law, which was written in 1905, is jarring and contrary today because of the pro-choice\/body rights revolution in 20th-century American law. In cases decided after Jacobson, the U.S. Supreme Court has maintained that the Constitution \u2014 particularly the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment \u2014 limits the power of the state to touch the body. These cases concerning \u201cbodily integrity\u201d apply to every level of government, and they have also shaped public norms about individuals\u2019 right to make crucial decisions about their own bodies. Here are just a few of the landmark rulings that have established a constitutional right to \u201cbodily integrity\u201d in recent decades. You are allowed to buy and use contraceptives: Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). You are allowed to marry anyone regardless of race: Loving v. Virginia (1967). You are allowed to abort a fetus in the first trimester: Roe v. Wade (1973). You may not be subjected to experimental drugs or therapies without your consent, even if you are in the military: United States v. Stanley (1987). Though the Supreme Court has not used the phrase \u201cmy body, my choice,\u201d many rulings in federal cases have used language that seems applicable to the question of vaccine mandates. \u201cThe forcible injection of medication into a nonconsenting person\u2019s body represents a substantial interference with that person\u2019s liberty\u201d: Washington v. Harper (1990). \u201cThe right to be free of unwanted physical invasions has been recognized as an integral part of the individual\u2019s constitutional freedoms\u201d: United States v. Charters (4th Circuit, 1987). How would you feel if the government applied its police-power tactic overriding \u201cbodily integrity\u201d to something you strongly disagreed with? Government-imposed mandates are one way \u2014 but not the most lasting and effective way \u2014 to increase COVID vaccination rates and to significantly reduce the risk of dangerous infection. The best way to change minds, however, is to talk to people with differing perspectives and treat them with an open mind based on respect and dignity. I understand a lot of my legislative colleagues and business and healthcare leaders are frustrated and tired, as are our constituents, but a sensationalist, sanctimonious and shaming narrative driven by social media will not help to find compromises and solutions. All of us have a challenging obligation to understand where people are coming from, build relationships, address fears with facts and gently correct information with benchmark medical data. We should use this approach and sincere engagement in personal conversations, form a partnership with a local medical center, make sure people are comfortable with the decision, and praise them for making a sacrifice and taking on risk for their own and loved ones\u2019 well-being and their community. Most important, when an undecided is in a wait-and-see mode, we must acknowledge their perception of risk and not pressure or demean them but offer them reassurance and data as more people they know become vaccinated. The results of increased vaccination will speak for themselves. Sen. Tony Hwang is the co-ranking member of the Public Health Committee and the co-chair of the bipartisan Bioscience Technology caucus in the Connecticut General Assembly.