Before I begin, I have a few disclaimers to state:
- I vaccinate my children. We made this decision based on what is best for our family.
- I homeschool my children, therefore this law does not affect me or my family.*** UPDATE: It has come to my attention through several conversations that this law would require ALL schools public and private to submit to it. Under California law, the only legal ways to homeschool are either by forming a private school or joining under an umbrella private school program or charter. Therefore, it is legally fallacious to say the choice it “immunize or homeschool” because the law does not create ANY exceptions. I advise lawmakers who have made statements to this effect to reconsider.****
- Bureaucracies and all of their downfalls make me crazy.
- In a Bioethics & Law course, I wrote a research paper on the substantive due process rights of parents to refuse immunizations for their children.
- My arguments are based on my legal training and experiences as a parent of four children, here in California.
California has long been a bastion for innovation in the legal field. From laws on Evidence, Environmental emissions, to philosophical aka personal belief exemptions for refusing vaccinations, we are first, and I like to think in some cases the best when it comes to making cutting edge choices.
This is not a cutting edge choice.
This is motivated chiefly, if not entirely, by fear.
Making choices out of fear can work out, but it much less likely to when those choices affect everyone throughout the state.
There has been a measles outbreak recently.
Here’s what we know about that outbreak:
A senior California health official has said the source of the outbreak may never be identified, despite a finding that the same strain of virus had led to a wave of illness in the Philippines.
That same genotype has been detected in at least 14 countries and six other U.S. states in the past six months.
The Disneyland resort in Anaheim receives millions of visitors a year, many of them from overseas.
Did you read those three things?
Some people who went to Disneyland contracted the measles. And I am so sorry for them, I wish them all a swift recovery, and I sincerely hope that they receive the level of medical care that ensures the lowest chance of complications.
However, mandatory vaccinations are not the answer.
- There has been ZERO evidence causally linking the outbreak to school children not being vaccinated. If you have personally seen this evidence, please feel free to send it to me!
- the employee in the Bay Area who contracted the measles had been vaccinated, years ago. Thus, mandatory vaccination would have had ZERO affect on his contracting the disease.
- Vaccinations are NOT 100% effective– you can be vaccinated and still become sick, or even give the disease to someone else
Case in point: this year’s flu. A chat with out local pharmacist revealed that this year they misguessed which strain of the flu to select, leaving some people who had received vaccinations to still contract the miserable disease.
Here’s what the law states:
(a) A means for the eventual achievement of total immunization of appropriate age groups against the following childhood diseases:
(2) Hepatitis B.
(3) Haemophilus influenzae type b.
(6) Pertussis (whooping cough).
(10) Varicella (chickenpox).
The following provision is the number one reason why I oppose this bill:
(11) Any other disease deemed appropriate by the department, taking into consideration the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This puts the decision of which vaccinations ALL CHILDREN IN CALIFORNIA must receive into the hands of not even doctors, but bureaucrats. Is that something that you are personally comfortable with, because I am certainly NOT.
Remember all of the issues that arose with the HPV vaccination? Imagine if the choice of whether or not to vaccinate your child was taken out of your hands because that was added to the mandatory list, without your notice, consent, or even thought to whether you thought it would be a good idea. Does your child even need that vaccination? The state literally does not care.
It erodes religious freedoms. This article presents a well reasoned argument that eliminating the personal choice belief leads to an abuse of the religious exemption. When individuals take advantage of religious loopholes, they can lead to litigation and lawmaking like RFRA, remember that nightmare that keeps on giving?
Further, IMO, in a state like CA, eliminating a personal belief exemption, while allowing a religious exemption to stand violates the First Amendment protections of the separation between Church & State. What if you are atheist? You are not entitled to the very same decision as someone who has just as sincerely held beliefs on the exact same issue. That’s bad lawmaking.
By the way, it’s not abundantly clear that this law retains the religious exemption, as the text as proposed only allows for exemptions, “from immunization for medical reasons.” There is no asterisk or footnote linking to another law containing religious exemptions.
Oh, and by the way, it also costs taxpayer money. By requiring schools to compile and disseminate information on vaccination rates, the state is required to reimburse them for those costs. What are they? How much will they be? How will they be administered or monitored? You got me.
I would much rather have whatever amount spent on reporting vaccination rates to be spent on things like library books, except for libraries like this one. Talk about a bureaucratic bloat.
This also leads to parents making decisions about their childrens’ educations based on fear, rather than based on, oh I don’t know, who can best actually educate them?
Here is a link to SB277 in its entirety. I highly suggest you read it and process what it amounts to: an utter and total intrusion on your rights as a parent to decide what’s best for your kids.
What’s next? Mandatory circumcision, substantiated by evidence of lower cancers later in life?
These are decisions that are best left to individual families to decide for themselves.
This issue is not cut and dry. You cannot just force people to do what you want in order to reach a result.
Plus, as we’ve discussed, that doesn’t even work. So what’s the justification then?
This is the first step in a Brave New World direction.