Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vaccine Bill Threatens Parents' Rights

It may soon become more difficult for some California parents to enroll their children in public schools. The California legislature is considering a bill that would require parents who want to decline one or more vaccines to get a doctor's signature before enrolling their child in school. While this might sound like a common-sense idea, it takes decision-making powers away from parents and puts those powers in the hands of doctors who often benefit financially from high vaccination rates.

Current California law requires parents to simply sign a "personal belief exemption" at their child's school if they want to enroll their children without vaccinating. The new law would require "a written statement signed by a health care practitioner who also states that he has provided information about the benefits and risks of vaccination and the health risks of specified communicable diseases. Many people think the is bill is a significant threat to parents' rights. Many doctors will refuse to sign the form, because they think vaccines should be mandatory and parents should not have the right to decline. Some doctors refuse to care for unvaccinated kids. Other doctors will decline to sign because insurance companies offer incentives for high vaccination rates of their patients.

If the doctor refuses to sign, parents will be forced to find another doctor, or submit to vaccines, or get kicked out of public school. This will add significantly to the cost of health care visits for families every year. The plan sounds like another version of the leftwing notion that "it takes a village to raise a child."

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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