Donnelly Launches Referendum to Overturn New Vaccine Law

Tim Donnelly (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

Former Assemblyman Tim Donnelly has launched a referendum against vaccine law SB277, pledging to work with every individual or group to collect the signatures needed to put the vaccine referendum on the 2016 ballot and let voters decide this issue.

“This is we, the people, exercising the people’s veto,” Donnelly told Breitbart News.

“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.”

Many of SB277’s opponents indicated that they do vaccinate their children, but opposed the infringement on parental rights.

Hundreds of Californians from across the state fought a long battle against the bill in the legislature. On Tuesday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB277 into law. As of Tuesday, tens of thousands had signed petitions calling for Brown to veto three pieces of legislation related to vaccine requirements, including SB277. As of Thursday, nearly 100,000 had signed the petitions, combined.

“Do you think the government or parents should have more control about what is injected into your child’s body?” Donnelly asked. “The government is intimidating parents by denying children the right to education.”

Prior to SB277, if a parent chose to opt a child out of even one vaccination such as Hepatitis B, but still vaccinate for all other diseases as required, that parent could sign a personal belief waiver. SB277 eliminates that waiver, making California one of strictest states in the nation. Parents that still wish to opt out of even one vaccination will not be allowed to enroll that child in private or public school.

“They are stamping out a parents’ right to make their own medical decisions for their kids,” Donnelly told Breitbart News.

According to Donnelly, California already has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country. Centers for Disease Control statistics as of September 2014 show California vaccination rates in the young 19-35 month range within a reasonable range as compared to other states, he noted. CDC charts show California among the most vaccinated states for MMR, DTap and Hib.

AB2109 was an existing a law requiring communication of the risks and benefits of vaccines between doctors and parents. That law has been in place less than two years, and has seen a voluntary increase in vaccination rates statewide.

Multiple vaccine bills cropped up in the California legislature in the midst of a measles outbreak that began last December in Anaheim’s Disneyland theme park. That outbreak ended earlier this year. SB792 and AB1117 are the two other bills petitioners are asking Brown to veto.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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