Sacramento, CA – California’s controversial bill that eliminates consideration of parents’ personal beliefs and limits medical exemptions for schoolchildren’s vaccinations has passed a tall hurdle.
Today, the House approved SB277 with a vote of 46-30. The measure stems from a measles outbreak linked to California’s Disneyland theme park and resorts in early December, which affected 131 Californians. It also spread to several other states and countries. Democratic Senator Richard Pan, who introduced the legislation, applauds the vote stating, “How many outbreaks does it take? How many people does it take who are hospitalized? How many children have to die before we do something? I think the legislature and the Assembly, certainly, have said we’ve had enough.”
One opponent of the measure, SaveCalifornia.com, an organization that promotes itself as “pro-family,” has been vocal in the battle. Its president, Randy Thomasson states,” SB 277 denies parents a safer, slower vaccine schedule, denies parents the right to exempt genetically-susceptible brothers and sisters of vaccine-injured children, denies parents a religious exemption, and denies conscientious objectors a public-school education.”
The bill now heads back to the Senate for a final vote to approve amendments made since the latter gave its initial approval in May. There is no word from Governor Jerry Brown’s office as to whether or not he will sign it. If he does, California will join 32 other states that do not allow parents to use personal belief exemptions to get out of vaccinating their children.