SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California lawmakers are hearing renewed discussions on a bill that would prevent parents from seeking vaccination exemptions for their children because of religious or personal beliefs.
The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday became the second legislative body to consider the measure that has sparked a debate pitting personal rights against public health.
Supporters say the bill would increase the number of schoolchildren who are vaccinated in the wake of a measles outbreak that started at Disneyland in December.
Carl Krawitt, of Corte Madre near San Francisco, told lawmakers he feared for his 6-year-old son's life during the outbreak because the boy, Rhett, couldn't be vaccinated while he was treated for leukemia.
Opponents say the bill is unconstitutional and tramples on personal rights. Parents told lawmakers they would be forced to homeschool and that there's no public health crisis.