Proponents of the bill say the passage is a victory for science and public health, while opponents decry the bill’s infringement upon parental rights.
Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, said in a prepared statement that the issue at hand with SB277 was not “whether or not you support vaccines” but “about the freedom to make our own choices as citizens”:
“I am concerned this legislation is yet another overreach of the state trying to dictate how we live our lives. As a mother, I made the choice to have my children vaccinated because I believe that was right for my family. By denying the ability for parents to choose what is right for their children, we are robbing Californians from one of their most essential liberties. This is not about vaccines; it is about whether or not the government should be telling us how to raise our children.”
But during the Assembly hearing, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, said, “As a mother, I understand that the decisions we make about our children’s health care are deeply personal. While I respect the fundamental right to make medical decisions as a family, we must balance out with the fact that none of us has a right to endanger others. SB277 strikes a balance.”
“This isn’t just about Disneyland,” said Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, D-San Ramon, referring to the measles outbreak that occurred last year. “And this isn’t just about the need to make sure we wait for a crisis.”