Actress Jessica Biel has become the latest celebrity to join the anti-vaccination campaign by lobbying California lawmakers to oppose a bill that would limit medical exemptions for immunizations without approval from a public health officer.
Biel joined prominent anti-vax campaigner Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the founder of Children’s Health Defense, in Sacramento for meetings with several members of the California State Assembly and Senate on what he described as a “busy” and “productive” day.
The pair were specifically lobbying against Senate Bill 276, which aims to crack down on doctors who provide what sponsoring senator Richard Pan describes as “fake” medical exemptions.
Biel is merely the latest Hollywood celebrity to lend their support to the controversial anti-vaccine movement, which has been outright rejected and criticized by the scientific community.
Hollywood figures including actors Robert De Niro, Jim Carrey, and Jenny McCarthy have all backed anti-vax campaigns, which often centers around fears that they are harmful and cause other health issues.
Last December, a global surge in cases of measles was blamed on growing support for the anti-vax movement, with an official from the World Health Organization warning that we “risk losing decades of progress in protecting children and communities against this devastating, but entirely preventable disease.”
Biel posted on Instagram Thursday morning that she supports children getting vaccinated and she also supports families having the “right to make educated medical decisions for their children alongside their physicians.”
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This week I went to Sacramento to talk to legislators in California about a proposed bill. I am not against vaccinations — I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated medical decisions for their children alongside their physicians. My concern with #SB277 is solely regarding medical exemptions. My dearest friends have a child with a medical condition that warrants an exemption from vaccinations, and should this bill pass, it would greatly affect their family’s ability to care for their child in this state. That’s why I spoke to legislators and argued against this bill. Not because I don’t believe in vaccinations, but because I believe in giving doctors and the families they treat the ability to decide what’s best for their patients and the ability to provide that treatment. I encourage everyone to read more on this issue and to learn about the intricacies of #SB276. Thank you to everyone who met with me this week to engage in this important discussion!
Biel wrote that she argued against the bill because her friends have a child with a medical condition warranting an exemption and the bill would “greatly affect their family’s ability to care for their child.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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