Earlier this year, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 277, a law eliminating “personal belief” vaccine exemptions for parents wishing to send their children to public schools without first having them inoculated against various common – but deadly – childhood diseases.
By eliminating the exception it makes it so that a parent cannot make a decision to delay even a booster shot or their child may be denied their constitutional right to an education, public or private.
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But perhaps even more dangerous, this leaves the door open to the state adding future vaccines that the government may want, usually following the CDC schedule. The bill may have been prompted, in part, by the recent outbreak of measles at Disneyland, which may have been caused by unvaccinated (and/or undocumented) children. The outbreak did not involve any children in school passing it to another school child, and patient zero was determined to be an out of country visitor.
In the predictable outburst of controversy that has followed the bill’s introduction and passing, one of the most glaring contradictions exposed by its very existence has been mostly ignored: Why is the government so selective about performing its duty to protect us?
Let’s get one thing straight: Asking parents to give their children the benefit of these medicines before sending them to taxpayer-funded schools–where they might otherwise be exposed to horrible diseases–is considered a good thing. However religious exemptions and freedom to care for your own children, with the guidance of your pediatrician, should trump the mandatory exception.
But all that aside, isn’t the most important job of a government to protect its citizens from a clear and present danger? As the government responds so quickly and efficiently to the rising incidence of local children going without inoculation, it continues to ignore where these infectious diseases may be coming from and the many perils of allowing countless undocumented, illegal immigrant children to enter the country and perpetuate the same problem.
Many people may not realize this, but scores of people from third-world countries do not have the benefit of receiving vaccinations as children. When those same kids come to the U.S. illegally, they pose a health risk to American children. That’s because some children cannot safely receive vaccines in the first place – some have medical conditions that would make the injections dangerous, while others are simply too young and must wait. Yet if any of these youngsters are exposed to the diseases against which they can’t be safeguarded, they may become infected.
This is why allowing immigrants to cross into the United States illegally is a contradiction of the logic that would lead government officials to pass a bill requiring vaccines. The goal here is to increase the number of children who are safe from getting sick, and it’s a noble one. But no matter how many American children are inoculated, it will mean little when the total population includes a steady influx of children from the third world who never had the option at all.
Of course, all of this ignores the fact that while law-abiding American parents have now lost their right to determine whether their children will be vaccinated when attending a public school, illegal immigrants are still free to make that decision for their children. In that way, this law actually punishes honest citizens while empowering criminals. This is an egregious abuse of American citizens, who suffer while people whose very presence proves they have no regard for the sanctity of our land continue to behave as they please.