California Senate Approves Controversial School Vaccine Bill
California state senators passed a bill Thursday which is seeking to increase the current school immunization rates following a measles outbreak at Disneyland last year.
According to the Associated Press, the bill was approved on a 25-10 vote despite hearing a range of emotional hearings this year at which opponents called for preserving parental rights on the matter.
The newly approved bill would prohibit parents from seeking vaccine exemptions for their children because of religious or personal beliefs.
The bill now moves on the state assembly. If it eventually does pass and become a state law, California would become the 32nd state to ban such exemptions from vaccines.
A statement from the organization, Vaccinate California, read in part: SB 277 will protect our children, our schools and our communities. It is unfair that a small, misinformed group of people are willing to jeopardize the health and safety for the rest of us."
However opponents said the fight is about much more than vaccinations. "The fight is really about parental rights... this is an extraordinary infringement on our parental rights," an opponent told San Diego 6 News.
Children who are not vaccinated will not be allowed to enter the public or private school system and will have to be home schooled.