Parents could be shunted to the sidelines on the grounds that the government knows what is best for their children under a new law being proposed in California.
Democrat state Sen. Scott Wiener has proposed that children over 12 be allowed to get any government-approved vaccine the kids want, regardless of what their parents say, according to the Sacramento Bee.
The bill has support so far from eight other legislators in the Democrat-dominated state Assembly and state Senate. Although it was drafted in response to the coronavirus, it would allow children between the ages of 12 and 17 to receive any vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration and federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We have almost a million 12-17 year-olds who are not vaccinated, and many want to be but their parents won’t let them or aren’t prioritizing getting them the vaccine,” Wiener said.
“I think it’s outrageous that a parent would block their child from getting a vaccine that could save their life,” he said.
“This is about empowering teenagers to make decisions on their own health and their own safety,” Wiener said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Almost a million California teenagers are unvaccinated, and for a lot of those teens it’s because their parents either refuse to get them vaccinated or they have not yet gotten around to it.”
Wiener said he expects opposition, but denigrated those who disagree with him.
“There is a very organized group of anti-vaxxers who are a very small minority in California,” Wiener said. “They don’t even come close to a majority view, but they are very organized, loud and abusive, and I am sure they will be organized, loud and abusive about this bill.”
However, one Republican legislator said the bill goes too far.
“This to me seems to be another example of Democrats wanting to remove parents from the equation,” Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher said, according to Fox News. “I think that’s flawed policy. I think parents are vital to these decisions.”
Gallagher said he thinks other legislators will find the bill hard to swallow.
“I think there will be bipartisan support for the proposition that parents should be involved in their kids’ health care decisions, in deciding what types of medical care and drugs they should be taking,” Gallagher said.
In rolling out the legislation, Wiener included as part of the group a 17-year-old who works in his office.
Ani Chaglasian said that although her parents ultimately capitulated, they would not allow her to be vaccinated, which meant she could not play water polo.
“So many kids are struggling because of anti-vax parents who aren’t listening to science,” she said.
In California, children over 12 can get HPV and hepatitis B vaccines without the consent of their parents.
Other states allow children to be vaccinated with parental approval.
In Alabama, the age for those decisions is 14, Oregon is at 15, and Rhode Island and South Carolina are at 16, according to Wiener.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.