CA Legislature: Children Should Decide on Controversial Vaccinations

CA Assemblymember Toni Atkins author of AB499 children consent for STD vaccinations, Guardasil vaccine HPV
AB499 Author, Assembly
Member Toni Atkins

(D-San Diego)

SACRAMENTO, June 2, 2011(Updated 6/13/2011)--The California Assembly says parents should have no say over whether their children, 12 years and older, receive preventative medical treatment and vacinations related to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The child's consent is enough. The bill, AB 499 has moved to the state Senate and will surely pass unless parents mobilize to protect their rights and the rights of their children to have the benefit of their parents' loving counsel concerning treatment that effects children's health and welfare.

Call to Action: AB 499 Moves to Senate Floor

Other AB 499 Links

Unanswered Questions

Talking Points and CCG Letter

More Background: CA Legislature: Children Should Decide on Controversial Vaccinations

The bill and legislative analyses

Stealth Vaccine Laws Allow Children to Consent to Vaccines (legal discussion -

This bill is an attempted end-run, after a failed attempt by the drug company Merck, Planned Parenthood, NARAL and others to make vaccinations (Gardasil) for human papilloma virus, an STD, mandatory for girls attending school in 2007. The bill was eventually withdrawn because of opposition over the uncertainty of the long-term effects, possible reactions with serious consequences, and moral objections based on the cynical message the vaccine sends to children.

"Vaccinating girls to protect them from a behavior that should be discouraged sends cynical and confusing message to children," said CCG Chairman William B. May. "Because the legislature was unable to get popular support from adults for madatory vaccinations, it is now outrageously attempting to pass a law subjecting children to coersion by the drug companies, at the hands of medical professionals, without their parents knowledge or consent."

All vaccinations and medicines have risks associated with them. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has received reports that 51 girls and 2 boys have died after receiving Gardasil.  In 2009, the New York Times reported on a study that indicated "Some serious complications occurred, including at least 20 deaths and two cases of Lou Gehrig’s disease, but they were not necessarily caused by the vaccine, the study said." The Times further reported that the author of the study, Dr. Barbara Slade from the CDC,  noted that "the analysis was based on imperfect data drawn from reports made to a voluntary government surveillance database. The majority of adverse event reports were filed by Merck & Company, the vaccine’s manufacturer, and most failed to provide enough information for further investigation."

The vaccine is available and parents can have their children vaccinated if they choose. The real issue with this bill is giving children the power of consent to preventative treatment and vaccinations while subjecting them to the possiblity of coersion without their parents' knowledge or consent.

AB 499 violates the rights of children to have the benefit of their parents' counsel and support in decisions that have health and safety consequences.  This violates the rights of parents to care for the health and welfare of their children. According to Catholic teaching, everyone has the responsibility to make good and reasonable decisions to protect their health. Since children do not have the competency to make informed decisions, the responsibility becomes a fundamental right and responsibility of their parents.

Promoting a vaccine with children that is only necessary in case of promiscuous sexual activity sends a very negative message to children that such activity is normative, while ignoring the other health, emotional, and moral consequences.

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