Lawmakers are to make a final decision on Scott Wiener's (D-San Francisco) Senate Bill 866, the Teens Choose Vaccines Act, which would allow minors to make their own decisions regarding when and if they receive any U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccination.
Greg Burt, director of capitol engagement for the California Family Council, which works to advance God's design for the family, tells AFN state senators originally approved a version of the bill that allowed kids as young as 12 to obtain the vaccinations without their parents' consent.
"Even in California that proved to be hard to get through the legislature," he notes. "So now the author has upped the bill to up to 15 years of age and older can decide whether they want any FDA approved vaccine" without parental consent or notification.
Burt points out that children are under their parents' guidance for good reason, including because 15- and 16-year-olds are typically not mature enough to make their own medical decisions.
"Actually, federal law requires that a parent be provided information on vaccine side effects and how to detect those side effects," he notes. "How in the world are parents going to recognize these possible reactions to a vaccine if they don't even know their kids are vaccinated?"
Several Republican senators with children of their own have urged legislators to consider the consequences of chipping away the protective role parents play in the lives of their children. Sen. Wiener, however, who has no children, stands by his proposal, noting state law already lets minors 12 and older consent to receiving HPV and Hepatitis B vaccines, all sexual health treatment, some mental health treatment, domestic violence and sexual assault treatment, and treatment for drug and alcohol problems.
When defending SB 866 earlier this year, Sen. Wiener also pointed out that minors at any age can consent to birth control and abortions. "Yet today, a teenager can’t go in and get a flu shot," he complained.
As far as Burt is concerned, the Teens Choose Vaccines Act as another government effort to disenfranchise parents.