AB2109 – Vaccination Waiver Threatened
JOINT LEGISLATIVE ALERT – October 1, 2012
From: Roy Hanson — Family Protection Ministries and Mike Smith — HSLDA
Bill: AB 2109 (as amended 8/20/12) – New Requirement Added to Personal Beliefs Vaccination Waivers
Author: State Assemblymember Richard Pan, M.D.
Position: Strongly OPPOSED!
Status: Passed the Legislature and Signed by the Governor – A Disappointing Defeat.
Thank you to everyone who tirelessly made calls and wrote letters in opposition to this bill. We also thank the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) who led the battle to defeat AB 2109 and other organizations that actively opposed AB 2109.
This new law goes into effect January 1, 2014 (one year from this coming January).
Between now and 2014, we will be researching and providing information and resources to prepare parents to be informed about the issue of vaccines and waivers and also how they can go about meeting the new requirements in AB 2109 regarding personal beliefs waivers for required vaccines for school entrance. We hope to have this ready before next fall (2013).
Religious Exemption and AB 2109
Governor Brown in his AB 2109 Signing Message (Sept. 30, 2012) stated “…I will direct the [Department of Public Health] to allow for a separate religious exemption on the form. In this way, people whose religious beliefs preclude vaccinations will not be required to seek a health care practitioner’s signature.”
The Governor’s statement in his letter does not make the religious exemption law at this time. It is unclear as to how this religious exemption would effectively work, as it is not mentioned in either current law or in AB 2109 which he signed into law. It sounds hopeful to many, but we will have to wait for the regulations to be issued by the Department of Public Health sometime next year. The way many religious exemptions work can be narrow and problematic. The Governor should have vetoed AB 2109.
Find a Parent-Friendly Doctor
Parents should begin now to find a compassionate and parent-friendly doctor who treats children and will be supportive of your choice if you should decide to exempt your children (with a Personal Beliefs Waiver) from one or more of the required vaccines for school entrance. There are other very important reasons to find a parent and family-friendly doctor for your children and your family — one who will get to know you as a family. The suggested policies of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) (such as their support of AB 2109) are considered by many to be unfriendly to the rights and privacy of parents and their children. However, there are some good pediatricians out there who are supportive of the parental right to choose to use the Personal Beliefs Waiver. Many parents choose to have a general practice family doctor treat the whole family, including their young children. Take the initiative to ask around to see if others have found a parent-friendly doctor who will sign a personal beliefs waiver. Some support groups will want to keep a list of possible parent-friendly physicians in their area. We will include a more extensive article on this issue in the future.
Even though God allowed this specific piece of legislation to pass through the Legislature, we are confident in the knowledge that He will continue to protect and guide His people by giving us wisdom on what we can and should do.
Our God-given parental rights are being eroded in our nation. The passage of this bill is one more indicator of why all of us need to be involved in elections at all levels and why we need the Parental Rights Amendment to the US Constitution. For more information on this proposed amendment see http://childandfamilyprotection.org/CRCs-Destructive-Power.html
The author refused to debate the issues of this bill with physicians and other medical personnel who opposed his approach in AB 2109. The leadership in this present Legislature also refused repeated requests to allow any meaningful debate in the Assembly and Senate where facts could be presented and considered before their members voted. Many of you know more about certain aspects of this debate than those voting on the bill. Legislators seldom read the bills they vote upon. We were up against powerful forces in this battle over AB 2109.
Summary of Concern:
AB 2109 created a new additional requirement for parents who choose to exercise the current right to a personal beliefs waiver to exempt their child from one or more of the vaccinations required for school enrollment.
AB 2109 requires a parent to obtain the signature of a doctor or other specified health care provider, stating that he has provided the parent with information about the benefits and risks of vaccinations and about specified communicable diseases, before their child can be exempted. This will apply to all children regardless of what type of school they are in, including a private homeschool. The personal beliefs waiver, by itself, will no longer be enough.
For further information about why this bill, however well intended, failed children and their parents, please read our previous Action Alert on our website here.
We will be sharing additional resources and startling new research-based information on particular vaccines to assist parents on the issue of personal beliefs waivers for required vaccines for school entrance.
Our Position on AB 2109 and Similar Legislative Proposals:
The care of children, including medical intervention (especially preventive medical care) is the responsibility of parents. We also appreciate good medical care and medical care professionals who desire to serve and help others, including parents, requesting their help.
We also believe in the right of parents to voluntarily choose: (1) which medical service to utilize for the life and health of their dependent children, (2) which provider they utilize for that service, and (3) which sources of information to use regarding any medical service/intervention and service provider(s).
This all assumes that the parents are provided with adequate information, including the risks of and alternatives to any medical service, prior to making a decision concerning a medical service (intervention, care, costs, etc.) for their child.
We are not condemning or endorsing all vaccines. Good parents want to be good stewards of their God-given responsibilities and be personally responsible to make informed choices on the best care for their children. We must defend the right of parents to fulfill their God-given responsibilities toward their children. An additional goal of ours is to make resources available to assist parents in making informed medical care decisions for their children regarding vaccinations for communicable diseases.
We believe parents should inform themselves on each vaccination and each communicable disease for which it was designed to potentially prevent. Currently the information most parents receive is heavily weighted toward sending a message that all vaccines are good for your children. Very little, if any, information is sent from medical, media, and government sources on facts concerning why some vaccines have not reliably conferred immunity, nor on the harmful and sometimes deadly or permanently disabling effects of particular vaccines due to their contents and how and when they are given. It is the parent who should consider the risks on both sides and then make the decision that is in the best interest of the health and life of each of their minor children.
No further action is required on AB 2109.