CALIFORNIA — A tough new law marks the onset of a new era of forced medication in California, as the state successfully eliminated all personal and religious exemptions to vaccines for children stuck in the state’s public school system.
After weeks of protests and political tension, and one of the most aggressive and expensive state lobbying campaigns on record, the California state legislature finally passed S.B. 277, crushing individual medical choice and delivering a huge victory to corporate beneficiaries in the drug industry. Governor Jerry Brown (D) promptly signed it into law on June 30, 2015.
Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) called it “a direct attack on our liberty and a violation of our parental rights,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
The new law is the most rigid in the nation, depriving families of personal belief exemptions under the state’s Health and Safety Code. Parents will now unable to opt out their school-age children from the long list of government-endorsed injections, including shots for Diphtheria, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), Measles, Mumps, Pertussis (whooping cough), Poliomyelitis, Rubella, Tetanus, Varicella (chickenpox), as well as “any other disease deemed appropriate by the department.”
A heavily restricted medical exemption still remains, but requires (1) filed paperwork with governing authorities, (2) a statement written by a government-licensed physician explaining why he does does not recommend that the child receive the vaccine, including the details of the “specific nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstances.” These requirements are invasive, time-consuming, hassle-causing, and cost-incurring. Worse, getting a detailed letter from a doctor is practically impossible, especially considering the general hostility of the medical community toward patients who are skeptical of vaunted vaccines. California’s medical exemption is one of the most restrictive in the nation; hardly attainable by all.
The last escape option for parents with deep concerns is to completely rearrange their lives and become homeschoolers. Proponents of the law argue that the homeschool option means that the vaccines are still “optional.” But that is a grossly dishonest position. Although homeschooling is wonderful method of safely educating children, it is not possible without a certain level of economic freedom, free time, and parental intellect — resources that are not available in every family. Those obstacles, combined with the fact that Californians are subject to imposed legal penalties of up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine if they do not uphold the compulsory education law (CA Penal Code Section 270.1 (a)), it is clear that neither the education, nor the vaccines, are in any way “optional.”
California’s law goes into effect on July 1, 2016.
Critics pointed out that the passage of the law was controversial from the onset, involving heavy lobbying efforts, sudden shifting of committee assignments, and no public testimony allowed at the Senate Education Committee vote, according to the Sacramento Bee. The California Coalition for Health Choice denounced the chicanery as an “outright rigging the results of a vote.”
The majority of the bill’s support came from California Democrats, which was no surprise considering at the Anaheim convention in May, the party officially resolved to obliterate personal belief exemptions from the law books.
Former Assembly member Tim Donnelly (R) decried the new medical mandate, saying that Governor Brown “signed away a parent’s right to choose what’s best for their children,” during an interview on Radio Free America, according to the Washington Times. “This referendum is not about vaccinations; it is about defending the fundamental freedom of a parent to make an informed decision for their children without being unduly penalized by a government that believes it knows best.”
The bill’s author and lead proponent was Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who coincidentally held the place of largest recipient of lobbying dollars from pharmaceutical companies in California ($95,150 in one session), according to the Sacramento Bee. In that session alone, the drug industry spent a sum total of millions of dollars lobbying California lawmakers in order to crush an opposition composed primarily of grassroots activists and concerned citizens.
MANDATORY EXPOSURE TO MEDICAL RISK
Senator Pan peddled his anti-choice legislation with the familiar bumper-sticker slogan so often used by the coercive public health community: “vaccines are safe and vaccines save lives.” The corporate cheerleader did not mention the dozens of documented side effects of vaccines during his campaign to pass S.B. 277.
Patients subjected to the mandated shots run the risk of a variety of serious reactions, including seizures, fainting spells, “lowered consciousness,” deafness, coma, nervous system disorders, Guillain Barré syndrome (GBS), permanent brain damage, or even death, according to the CDC. Furthermore, the victims of vaccine injuries are legally incapable of holding the drug makers responsible, thanks to a 1986 law passed by the U.S. Congress.
With all the coordinated hysteria over children who may catch measles, one has to wonder where is the compassion for the kids who will be maimed by compulsory vaccinations. Roughly 30,000 adverse reactions to vaccinations are reported annually to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
“While its true that no medical intervention is without risk,” Governor Brown reluctantly admitted in his signing statement, “the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community.”
Brown’s reasoning was a classic case of trampling the rights of the individual for the perceived benefit of the collective (or the “herd” as proponents say). To mandate that citizens be exposed to drugs with possible risks is to guarantee that some will be harmed — not through a personal choice or as a result of nature, but as a direct result of the law. As one concerned mother said, “Where there is risk, there must be a choice.”
A cadre of legal experts at Stanford University predicted that California’s new mandate will embolden other states to follow the same path. “Although California politics may be distinctive, its experience with SB277 teaches us that even strong opposition can be overcome with the right combination of astute public education, political strategy and legislative fortitude,” they wrote. The prediction seems quite likely, and Americans across the country should prepare for an uphill battle to retain the vestiges of medical freedom.