Editor’s note: This family’s take on California’s new law (SB-277) barring children from public school, private school, and daycare is an opinion piece by a California mom. She prefers to remain anonymous to protect her family’s privacy and avoid negative reprisals.
Injecting Common Sense: This Family’s Take on California’s New Law Barring Kids From School
By Anonymous, Special to JenniferMargulis.net
New parenthood isn’t the kind of adventure that comes with a road map. So we follow our hearts, seek out good advice, and make the best decisions we can, the best way we know how.
Except if you’re an expectant parent in the state of California. Here, in my home state, some important parenting decisions are now being made for you.
Last spring, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 277, a law making childhood vaccine requirements mandatory for entry into daycare or school. Effective this July, children whose parents have chosen to delay or opt out of even one dose of the required vaccines are not eligible to enroll at any daycare, public, or private school, unless they have an IEP (Individualized Education Program) or a hard-to-obtain and almost-never-given medical exemption signed by a California physician.
This new law is relevant before you even leave the hospital with your newborn. Just a few hours after your baby is born, as you are recovering from the birth and learning how to breastfeed, you will be told that your newborn must have a hepatitis B vaccine.
Hopefully your doctor will explain the risks and benefits, to assist you in making an informed decision. Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver, and is spread by sexual contact or intravenous needles. Your doctor should also tell you the potential side effects of the vaccine.
These include (but are not limited to):
Finally, your doctor should tell you that the hepatitis B vaccine contains 250 mcg of aluminum, a known neurotoxin that is not safe to inject intramuscularly. Your doctor should also tell you that the vitamin K shot your baby has been given also contains aluminum, meaning that your newborn is getting what amounts to a massive dose of poison in the first few hours of life. Your doctor may or may not tell you this. Many doctors won’t, because they’ve never taken the time to read and research the ingredients in the vaccine, or in the vitamin K shot.
Unless your tiny son or daughter is having unprotected sex, sharing contaminated needles, living with a carrier, or in need of a blood transfusion and the blood is contaminated, there is essentially no risk of your baby contracting or transmitting hepatitis B.
Let’s say you consider this information, and make a conscientious and evidence-based decision to refuse this vaccine for your newborn. It’s now illegal for your child to attend any school or daycare in California.
This is troubling for a variety of reasons, the most apparent being that children aren’t capable of spreading a disease they don’t have. (Interestingly enough, state law says children who are actually infected with hepatitis B can attend school, but children who have not been vaccinated cannot.)
As a new parent, I hope you’ll consult with a doctor you trust, do your research, weigh the risks and benefits, and make a decision you feel is right for your family. While you may deem some vaccines absolutely necessary, you may decide some are less so. Unfortunately for Californians, these decisions about your baby’s health care are now more confusing, amidst government coercion for conformity.
This new California law gives you three choices:
- Fully vaccinate your child according to state mandates, making no allowances for your family’s medical history, risk factors, genetics, or particular situation
- Move out of state
Is that really much of a choice?
We declined the hepatitis B vaccine for each of our babies. We made a carefully considered, evidence-based decision. I am not hepatitis B positive, and neither is my husband. None of our family members or our children’s caregivers have hepatitis B. The scientific, rational, healthiest decision for our children was not to give them this vaccine.
And now our children are barred from going to school.
Fortunately, I’m a credentialed, veteran teacher, and we’re able to get by on one income while we homeschool this year. This is not the case for everyone. Dear friends of ours sold their successful business and settled in Colorado. Others have moved north to Oregon, a state which values medical freedom.
Many families are in the unimaginable position of being forced to vaccinate because relocation isn’t feasible, and they can’t afford to homeschool.
I find myself stunned that these times are really upon us.
While we can’t speak for other parents, we know we have acted out of highest regard for the intelligent design of the human immune system. We value our body’s ability to do what it was designed to do. Vaccination is a complex and invasive medical treatment. It is clear that vaccines are effective in preventing some diseases, but the risks of side effects of giving so many vaccines to such young children have not been adequately studied and are not fully understood.
I don’t care what you think of our decision. I’m not trying to convince you for or against hepatitis B. But the point is that this decision is ours to make. Simply put, we have a right to medical freedom. Nobody ought to be coerced into accepting medical treatment, especially when there is risk involved.
A popular narrative in America today is that the science is settled: vaccines are highly effective and safe for everyone. Let’s consider the inception of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in 1986, after Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. The government began compensating victims of vaccine injury on behalf of vaccine manufacturers, after a flood of lawsuits nearly drove these companies out of business. Since that time, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has awarded $3.1+ billion of tax dollars to people injured or killed by “safe” vaccines.
Can you think of another industry whose manufacturers cannot be held liable when their product harms a consumer?
Rather than proclaiming a clear, scientific consensus that vaccines are safe for all, we ought to be demanding better vaccines, and insisting that doctors implement a screening process to identify which children may be susceptible to adverse reactions. The pharmaceutical industry owes us ongoing, longitudinal research about vaccination as it exists today, and safeguards to protect our kids from vaccine injury.
The hard truth is that disease exists in the world. Vaccine side effects exist, too. Parents face difficult decisions about how to protect their children. It’s terrible when bad things happen to the people we love, despite our efforts to keep them safe. Children fall ill or die from preventable diseases, and other children lose their life or livelihood due to vaccine injury.
I don’t have a solution for this dilemma, but I do believe that it’s incorrect for legislation to value one child’s life over another.
In an effort to achieve “total immunization” and build a “healthy California,” SB-277 mandates childhood vaccines, and removes those who are unvaccinated (or under-vaccinated) from schools. Will these same kids be unwelcome at the park, soccer practice, the swimming pool, restaurants, or their future workplace? Will they be asked to use separate drinking fountains, or wear a scarlet V?
It’s easy to hurl insults at parents like us, hiding behind the safety of a computer screen.
You wouldn’t believe the name-calling that happens on comment threads and message boards: people describe parents like us as “reckless,” “selfish,” and “retarded,” and label children like ours “baby-killers” and “diseased spawn.” I’m publishing this blog anonymously because I don’t want to be targeted in that way; I don’t want my loving family ripped to shreds by anonymous bullies.
Are YOU up to date on your vaccines?
If you grew up in America in the 1960s, you received perhaps 4 injections as part of the typical immunization schedule. In the 1980’s, maybe 8. This new law mandates 15 injections for children entering kindergarten. Fifteen! Questioning an immunization schedule that has quadrupled over just two generations is neither selfish nor reckless. It’s using common sense.
So what consequences can we expect for adults who are not fully vaccinated in accordance with this new standard? With regard to “herd” immunity and potential threats to public health—is society prepared to hold all individuals accountable for their vaccination status? Californians of any age, visitors from out-of-state, foreign travelers—all are capable of transmitting disease. If legislation required that everyone met these new requirements, I hope and imagine there would be some push back.
The greater issue we should be discussing is the enforcement of medical mandates—where will it stop? Imagine if the government compelled you to take antibiotics to fight off an infection, psychiatric medication to combat anxiety, or Ritalin to treat ADD, and then barred you from school or work if you refused?
I’m disturbed as a Californian—and as an American—to see our personal health care decisions influenced by the government in such a significant way.
Humans have a fundamental right to choose what they allow to enter their bodies. The diseases we face in modern times do not present imminent danger to greater society, especially when the vast majority chooses to vaccinate.
The California legislature has reached too far, in a futile attempt to achieve “total immunization.” Coercing parents to accept vaccines for their young children is wrong. Decisions about vaccinations—or any medical treatment—must be made privately between patient and doctor.
Whether you are far or near—educate yourself about Senate Bill 277, and the lawsuits filed to combat it. Form an opinion about laws related to medical freedom and your personal health care decisions. If you think this legislation doesn’t affect you now, it’s coming soon to a state near you. You’ll wish you’d spoken up when they tell you it’s time to line up for your shots.