Do Parental Rights Outweigh Protecting Society?

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. Senator, Elizabeth Warren from Mass. Photo credit: Rodrigo Pena Photography

Gavin Newsom

Lieutenant Governor, California, Gavin Newsom. Photo credit: Rodrigo Pena Photography


The California Democratic Conference was held this weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center. In attendance were U.S. Senator, Elizabeth Warren, Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom, and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, amongst others.

Also in attendance were about 1,000 parents and children who gathered in a peaceful protest against SB 277 and SB 792.

SB 277 impacts children in private or public elementary or secondary school, child care center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or development center. SB 277 would eliminate a parent’s right to exempt their children from one, some, or all vaccines, a risk-laden medical procedure.

SB792 would prohibit any adult from working in any school with children without being vaccinated.

Advocates for the passage of these bills say that we must make vaccinations mandatory to keep the herd immunity intact. According to the website, herd immunity is when a critical portion of a community is immunized against a contagious disease, most members of the community are protected against that disease because there is little opportunity for an outbreak. Even those who are not eligible for certain vaccines—such as infants, pregnant women, or immune-compromised individuals—get some protection because the spread of contagious disease is contained. This is known as “community immunity.”

Protesters complaints are many including religious freedoms, vaccines being linked to autism in children, and parental rights to choose for their children. Opponents of the bill also cite the following reasons:

– MMR & CHICKEN POX are live virus vaccines. Recently vaccinated teachers caring for newborns & toddlers will expose them to the diseases.

-The flu vaccine, which is on the required list, was only 19% effective last year. Many strains still contain thimerosal, a form of mercury. Others contain aluminum, which is a neurotoxin. Recently a batch of flu vaccines was recalled, reportedly due to low potency.

-Most workers in the field are female, many in child bearing ages. All shots have not been tested on pregnant women, but that doesn’t qualify you for a medical exemption.

Laura Olson, a parent from Orange, Calif. said that she supports the mandate. She feels that allowing non-vaccinated people to potentially harm others who could get sick is unacceptable.

Another parent, Jeff Flores, is on the fence. He feels that parents should have the right to choose whether or not to vaccinate their children, unless it’s for a disease that is contagious and a threat to society.

Currently, the bills are in front of the Appropriations Committee for a vote, and if they pass, they will go on to the Senate to be voted on.

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