Parental rights have taken center stage at three Health Freedom Rallies held Friday along California’s coast at the Golden Gate Bridge, Huntington Beach Pier, and Santa Monica Pier.
Outrage over childhood vaccine mandate SB277 has grown and continues to draw attention to parental rights despite the bill passing and California Governor Jerry Brown signing it into law this week.
The bill makes California one of three states with the strictest childhood vaccine laws in the country.
Former California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly has filed a referendum on SB277 that would allow voters to decide the issue on the 2016 ballot.
Donnelly told Breitbart News, “The Health Freedom Rallies yesterday were not about vaccines, but about a parent’s right to choose what’s best for their child. Never before have I seen so many Americans from such a diversity of economic backgrounds and political viewpoints come together united in defense of a parent’s right to make an informed decision about the health of their child.”
KTLA noted the hundreds that gathered at the Huntington Beach rally.
ABC 7 Tweeted from Huntington Beach:
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) July 4, 2015
From the San Francisco Rally:
This individual appeared to be posting images from the Santa Monica rally:
— tinamrdh (@tinamrdh) July 4, 2015
A flyer for Friday’s rallies called demonstrators to demand the repeal of SB277 and Gov. Brown’s veto of SB792.
Many SB277 opponents have voiced support for vaccination and that they do vaccinate, but have decried the stripping of parental rights in the medical decisions for their own children. Diminished access to education has been another serious criticism of SB 277. Still others don’t choose to vaccinate.
SB277 makes California one of three states with the strictest childhood vaccine laws in the country. It eliminates a previously allowed waiver based on personal or religious belief. Parents still choosing to hold back on even one vaccination for a child will no longer be allowed to enroll that child in private or public school under the new law. Homeschool or independent study, with no in -classroom option, are the available alternatives for such a child under SB 277.
As of the start of the 2014-15 school year, only 2.54% of California kindergarteners had personal belief waivers on file.
AB2109 requires health care providers to discuss the benefits and dangers of vaccines with parents. It has been in effect less than two years and has already seen voluntary vaccination increases.
Multiple bills showed up in the California legislature in the midst of a measles outbreak that began at Disneyland’s Anaheim theme park last December. Though the outbreak ended in early 2015, the bills continued on. SB277 has drawn many hundreds and likely thousands opposing the bill to the capital over the course of several hearings and votes.
Petitions calling for the veto of bills including SB277, SB792, and AB1117 have garnered almost 100,000 signatures.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana