California Considers A Bill That Will Enrage Anti-Vaxxers
A bill that would require nearly every child in California's public schools to be vaccinated is one step closer to becoming a law.SB 277, by State Senators Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) and Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), passed the Senate's Education Committee by a vote of 7-2 on Wednesday. If passed, the law would remove the "personal belief" exemption that allows parents to opt out of vaccinating their children before enrolling them in public schools. According to the Sacramento Bee, the bill passed the committee after amendments were added that expanded homeschooling options for unvaccinated children.
Despite the revision, the bill will probably require more changes if it were to pass the State Legislature and be signed by the governor. "There's a lot of work we still have to do," said Senator Allen. The next step is the Senate Judiciary Committee in its potentially long journey.
The bill was inspired by the measles outbreak that was traced back to Disneyland at the end of last year. Senator Pan, a pediatrician, said at the press conference when introducing the bill, "We shouldn't wait for more children to sicken or die before we act." Pan says the "personal belief" provision acts as a loophole that is far too easily abused.
Opponents of the bill say it is anti-choice and that vaccines are unsafe, despite the fact that science has consistently said otherwise. The original study that launched the anti-vax campaign has since been retracted and dubbed an "elaborate fraud," and yet another study earlier this week found no connection between autism and the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.
The Disneyland measles outbreak was declared over on Friday, after infecting over 150 people, including 131 in California alone.