Assemblyman Tim Donnelly has released a letter he sent to Governor Jerry Brown that urged a veto of AB 2109 authored by Assemblyman Richard Pan of Sacramento.
The bill requires parents who their children to receive immunizations to submit a statement signed by their health care provider that verifies they received information on the risks and benefits of vaccines.
Opponents of the bill includes actor Rob Schneider, a former Saturday Night Live cast member, who says he feels parents are being forced to get vaccinations despite what he feels are clear risks.
Assemblyman Donnelly was one of 29 "No" votes on the Assembly Floor during the vote earlier this monthhis, according to Donnelly's office. The bill was sent to Governor Jerry Brown on Sept. 6.
September 17, 2012
Dear Governor Brown,
I am writing to urge your prudent veto of AB 2109, which received bi-partisan opposition. This bill impedes parents' right to make the best medical choices for their family, costs families in the midst of an economic downturn, and violates the religious freedom of many California residents. New research is streaming in every day about the controversial effects of vaccines; it is imperative that parents are able to take charge of their children's medical decisions.
By forcing families to involve a third party in personal healthcare decisions, AB 2109 assumes that parents are unable or unwilling to make informed decisions without the oversight of the state. This sentiment is in direct contradiction with the trust our founders had in the people. No one care more for a child's health than mom and dad and there is nothing stopping them from consulting a doctor about the pros and cons of vaccinations, before opting out. That is a parent's choice though, not the Legislature's.
Besides impeding parental rights, this bill brings up two additional concerns.
First, this will make the process more complicated and costly for parents trying to make the best decisions for their children. Doctor appointments can be time-consuming and costly. This bill would add that extra burden of both time and money to families in a recession. It will also cause longer waits for patients needing medical treatment for existing ailments.
Second, this bill raises constitutionality question as many religions object to modern medicine. This would force observers to consult with a physician despite religious objection. It also could apply pressure contrary to an individual's religious or philosophical beliefs regarding which medicines are or are not appropriate for their families.
In the end, AB 2109 compromises a fundamental right of parents to direct the care and upbringing of their children and could violate an individual's right to follow religious standards. I strongly urge you to take a stand and preserve these rights with a swift veto of this bill.
Assemblyman; 59th District