New California Bill Would Allow Children 12+ to Get Vaccines Without Parental Consent
A new California proposal from Sen. Scott Wiener (D) would allow children age 12 and up to get vaccinations without consent from their parents.
Wiener said California already allows those 12 and up to consent to the Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse, and mental health disorders.
“Giving young people the autonomy to receive life-saving vaccines, regardless of their parents’ beliefs or work schedules, is essential for their physical and mental health,” he said.
“It’s unconscionable for teens to be blocked from the vaccine because a parent either refuses or cannot take their child to a vaccination site.”
Under current California law, minors ages 12 to 17 cannot be vaccinated without permission from their parents or guardian unless the vaccine is specifically to prevent a sexually transmitted disease.
But critics say Wiener’s proposal is a “flawed policy.”
“This to me seems to be another example of Democrats wanting to remove parents from the equation,” said Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher.
“I think that’s flawed policy. I think parents are vital to these decisions.”
Gallagher thinks Wiener may have difficulty even in a Legislature overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats.
“I think there will be bipartisan support for the proposition that parents should be involved in their kids’ health care decisions, in deciding what types of medical care and drugs they should be taking,” Gallagher said.