Saturday, March 24, 2012

AB 2109 - no "personal belief" vaccine exemptions

There is a bill currently in process in the state legislature, AB 2109, which would take away the "personal belief" vaccine exemption option from parents. Currently, when our children enroll in public school, we either show proof of current vaccines, OR we sign a paper stating that we choose not to vaccinate (or partially, or on a different schedule) due to personal beliefs. This bill would take away that option. Instead, we would be required to get a signed document from a doctor (medical only; naturopaths and chiropractors are specifically excluded) stating that we had been “educated" about vaccines.

I gave birth to three children. As their parent, it is my right to make decisions regarding their care. Part of that is the right (and duty) to decide what medicines, including vaccines, are introduced into their bodies.

I choose to vaccinate. But I do it on an extended schedule and I refuse a select few. I have made this choice based upon significant research – far more than the 10 minutes of “education” that this bill would require me to receive in a doctor’s office.

In theory, this bill would require only a visit to a pediatrician and a request for a signature. In practice, the pediatrician could refuse to sign it. We like to think of our doctors as balanced and impartial, but the fact is that they have opinions just like anyone else, and this bill would give them the power to influence and control parental decisions by simply refusing to sign the paper.

Yes, I could try to find a different doctor. But that is harder than you might think. I have to find someone within my insurance network, someone who will accept a new patient for only one appointment, someone who is willing to sign the paper having no prior experience with me or my child. Even were I able to do so, now I have to find childcare for the little ones, take my child to an extra appointment, and pay an additional co-pay. All this simply in order for my child to enroll in public school?

This bill usurps my rights and responsibilities as a parent, creating an unacceptable roadblock to my efforts to raise my children in accordance with my well-researched and carefully considered beliefs. It is yet another encroachment by the government on the rights of parents to make decisions for their family and children. Please consider adding your voice to the opposition.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Feel like browsing?

The Saturday Evening Blog Post is up over at Elizabeth Esther's. I'm participating this time, and enjoying reading some posts by new-to-me bloggers. Come on over!