America was built on freedom, not the government micromanaging every aspect of our lives. Freedom is where the government does not mandate your security, but you get to dictate those terms and weigh the risks. Our founding father’s knew what happened when a government had too much power over the people and setup safeguards to ensure that did not happen again. Though it seems with each passing day, we see more of our own personal freedoms stripped away in the name of safety.
On Tuesday, California lawmakers approved one of the toughest mandatory vaccination requirements in the nation, moving to end exemptions from state immunization laws based on religious or other personal beliefs. This controversial bill would require for children who attend daycare and school to be vaccinated against diseases including measles and whooping cough. The government will allow parents who have children with medical conditions to be exempt from vaccinations, but it must be confirmed by a doctor. Children that are home schooled or public independent studies off campus are still able to decline vaccinations.
It is unclear whether Gov. Jerry Brown will sign the measure, which grew out of concern about low vaccination rates in some communities and an outbreak of measles at Disneyland that ultimately infected around 150 people. “The governor believes that vaccinations are profoundly important and a major public health benefit, and any bill that reaches his desk will be closely considered,” Evan Westrup, the governor’s spokesman, said Thursday.
Many parents against the proposal feel this violates their privacy and that they alone — not the state — should choose whether to vaccinate their children. “This bill puts the state between children and parents regardless of your position on vaccination,” said Luke Van der Westhuyzem, a parent from Walnut Creek protesting at the state Capitol with others.
Glendale Democrat Assemblyman Mike Gatto voted against the bill, saying it violated parental rights. “The broadness of this bill likely dooms it from a constitutional standpoint,” Gatto said, accusing the state of “infringing on the rights of children to attend school.”
Spokeswoman Christina Hildebrand for the parent group “A Voice For Choice” found Thursday’s vote “unsettling.” Hilderbrand states that if Gov. Brown signs this bill, she plans to challenge the measure in court or with a referendum.“We are pulling out all the stops,” she said. “This bill is unconstitutional.”
Proponents for the measure say that it is not about personal choice, but for the good of society. Dr. Catherine Sonquist Forest, medical director of the Stanford Health Care clinic in Los Altos, explained, “This isn’t a question of personal choice, this is an obligation to society.”
Let that last sentence sink in for a moment — “an obligation to society.” Of course people should be considerate, but an obligation? The only obligation I have is to my family, not to anyone else. It is our freedom as parents to decide what is best for our children and how we see fit to parent.
Do not get me wrong, this is not a debate on whether vaccines are safe or not. This is the discussion on the freedom to be a parent to your OWN children without asking the government how to do so. If you have not noticed, when the government receives an inch, they take a mile. What makes you so sure they will stop with just this measure? What else will they decide for the “good of society”? Maybe what school they can attend? Or maybe what they will learn in school? Oh, wait, they already do that now. Do you not see where this is headed?
The government machine will continue to use fear tactics and whip parents into a frenzied state by saying, “It’s for the good of the children,” and people will fall for it. In freedom there is a level of uncertainty and that is always frightening, but that is what freedom is. I believe Benjamin Franklin put it best when he said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
What do you think? Should the government have the right to force parents to vaccinate?
H/T [Inside Bay Area]
[Image Credit Google Images]