National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) Says New California Law Threatens Human and Civil Rights in America

WASHINGTON--()--Following the June 29, 2015 enactment by Governor Jerry Brown of a California law eliminating the legal right for parents enrolling children in school to exercise vaccine exemptions for religious and conscientious beliefs, the non-profit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is urging citizens in every state to act to protect the human right to informed consent to medical risk taking in America. In violation of the California Constitution, the new law denies children the civil right to a school education unless they prove they have gotten multiple doses of 10 federally recommended vaccines or a medical doctor grants a medical vaccine exemption.

“Americans should not be threatened and forced to give up a human right in order to exercise a civil right,” said NVIC co-founder and president Barbara Loe Fisher. “There is no public health emergency in California or any other state that justifies giving up our human and civil rights. These kinds of oppressive laws are a prescription for tyranny and will lead to fear and distrust of government health officials and medical doctors.”

The bill to eliminate the personal belief vaccine exemption was proposed after measles cases were reported at Disneyland in January 2015. Only 18 percent of 134 California measles cases occurred in school aged children, while 30 percent of measles cases with vaccine records had been vaccinated.

“The California legislature and Governor Brown have failed California families, who do not deserve to be segregated and discriminated against based on vaccination and health care choices that parents make in the best interest of their minor children,” said Fisher. “Doctors cannot predict who will be injured or die from the side effects of vaccines, yet they deny medical vaccine exemptions to 99.99 percent of children under narrow federal guidelines.“

Thousands of California citizens opposing the bill testified in public hearings held in the state Senate health, education and judiciary committees and Assembly health committee. However, there were no hearings in Appropriations committees and no financial analysis of how much it will cost the state to take legal action against parents, who do not comply or sue the state for denying their children a school education.

The legislation does not define what legal sanctions parents will face if they decline to give their children vaccines mandated under the law but are financially or otherwise unable to homeschool them. Under California law, parents charged with truancy can be fined or imprisoned, which could result in children being placed in foster care.

The numbers of vaccinations recommended by federal health officials have tripled since 1983 to 69 doses of 16 vaccines, and pharmaceutical companies and federal health agencies are developing hundreds of new vaccines. The law will allow state health officials to add more vaccines to the required list without the vote of the legislature.

“Vaccines are not safe for everyone because we are not all the same genetically and biologically and we respond differently to pharmaceutical products like vaccines, yet pediatricians are denying medical care to children if parents do not agree to get every government recommended vaccine,” said Fisher. “Every day at the National Vaccine Information Center, we hear from parents whose children have been injured or died from vaccine side effects. It is cruel to prevent citizens from getting a school education or medical care for exercising the human right to informed consent to medical risk taking.”

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court declared vaccines to be “unavoidably unsafe” and shielded pharmaceutical companies from all product liability lawsuits for vaccine injuries and deaths. Medical doctors giving vaccines have been shielded from vaccine injury lawsuits since 1986 under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which has paid out more than $3 billion to children and adults harmed by government recommended vaccines. Two out of three vaccine injured plaintiffs are denied federal compensation.

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is a nonprofit charity founded in 1982 to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and does not make vaccine use recommendations. NVIC advocates for protection of the human right to informed consent to medical risk taking and inclusion of flexible medical, religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions in U.S. public health policies and laws.

NVIC June 9, 2015 referenced written testimony presented orally to California Assembly Health Committee.

NVIC July 1, 2015 letter to California Governor Jerry Brown.


National Vaccine Information Center
Barbara Loe Fisher, 703-938-0342

Release Summary

California eliminates the legal right for parents to exercise vaccine exemptions for religious and conscientious beliefs. NVIC urges action to protect the human right to informed consent in America.


National Vaccine Information Center
Barbara Loe Fisher, 703-938-0342