The state of California is perhaps America’s epicenter for parents who oppose vaccinations. Those parents were mighty unhappy last month when Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill giving the state one of the country’s strictest vaccination laws
In response, opponents of vaccination have rallied to support a recall of Richard Pan, the Democratic state senator — and pediatrician — from Sacramento who sponsored Senate Bill 277, reports The Sacramento Bee.
The recall effort has cleared early hurdles and supporters will now begin gathering signatures. They must collect 35,926 verified signatures by Dec. 31 from the 436,318 registered voters in Pan’s state Senate district.
Gov. Brown, a Democrat, signed California’s new vaccination law after a winter that saw a major measles outbreak among the unvaccinated. The measles outbreak began at Disneyland.
The new law eliminates the personal belief and religious exemptions the states once granted for school vaccine requirements, meaning only a certified medical issue can be used to avoid vaccination. The law applies to both public and private schools, as well as daycare centers, so the only option for parents who object to full vaccinations is to homeschool their children. (RELATED: California Now Has One Of Country’s Toughest Vaccine Laws)
Brown described the law as a triumph of science over superstition. Many parents have avoided vaccines, believing they cause autism or other problems, but Brown said evidence overwhelmingly supports the value of vaccines for children who must be around other children in schools.
Parents who oppose the new law are framing their efforts in an ad hoc language mixing libertarianism with emanations and penumbras.
“It is not so much about the vaccinations as it is about the defense of liberty,” Sacramento-area stay-at-home mother Katherine Duran told the Bee. “The government, as a creature of the people, doesn’t have the right to tell the people what they can and can’t put into their bodies.”
Opponents swear they will make Pan and other supporters of mandatory vaccinations pay at the ballot box.
A Sacramento political consultant suggested that the effort to obtain enough signatures to recall Pan will cost about $100,000.
“It would seem to me it’s plausible they qualify this if they have the money,” the consultant, Rob Stutzman, told the Bee.
Stutzman also observed that “a lot of wealthy people” oppose vaccinations around the country.
As for Pan, he has noted that he promised to fight for a stiff anti-vaccination law when he ran for the state senate.
“I ran to be sure we keep our communities safe and healthy,” Pan said at a news conference. “That’s what I ran on. That’s what I told the voters. And I feel that this bill — this law now — is actually a shining example of me keeping my promise to the people of my district.”
Other legislators around California are also facing recall efforts for voting for the anti-vaccination law.
California and other border states have also faced the threat of disease because the Obama administration has ordered American public schools to enroll the children of illegal immigrants despite a lack of legitimate documentation.
In the event that any of the tens of thousands of children from Mexico and Central America are carrying communicable diseases, experts claim, any subsequent health crisis will likely first manifest itself within a public school environment. (Feds Force Public Schools To Enroll Illegal Immigrant Children With No Medical Screening)