By Kent Heckenlively
In a sign of increasing political strength, the Canary Party has achieved an alliance with the East Bay Tea Party, one of California’s largest tea party groups, on the issue of AB2109, a measure sponsored by California Assembly Member, Dr. Richard Pan. The bill seeks to limit the ability of parents to obtain a philosophical exemption to refuse a vaccine or modify the schedule by requiring them to get a note from a doctor if they wish to vary the schedule or chose to decline vaccinations.
Both the East Bay Tea Party and the Canary Party believe this is an unwarranted governmental intrusion on the rights of parents and the first step in a program of mandated vaccines. Not only would this be the first time in California history that the right to refuse a medical procedure which carries the risk of injury or death would be dependent on a non-neutral third party who is not compelled by law to sign the required form, it is also likely to be a violation of the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution and a violation of several sections of the California Education Code.
While the Canary Party seeks to be a non-partisan group interested in the health rights of our society and full and rigorous scientific research in the health risks of medical treatments and the unintended consequences of new chemicals introduced into our environment, we must be willing to join with more partisan organizations if they share our values on these issues. In California it is regrettable that the democratic members of the assembly support this bill while the republican members oppose it. But those are the facts on the ground and we must accept conditions as we find them and act accordingly. We hope that the democrats will reconsider their position.
I was saddened but not surprised to attend a meeting of the Core Council of the East Bay Tea Party and hear one of their leading members talk about how his daughter, a nurse, was compelled by her doctor to get a flu shot as a condition of employment, and developed Guillan-Barre syndrome. And while this was certainly regrettable, it reveals that those waking up to the true risks of the current vaccine program are more and more widespread, and it underscored the importance of the vaccine safety issue to all members of society. The leaders of the East Bay Tea Party also viewed the film “The Greater Good” within a week of my giving it to them and came back with excellent questions and comments.
I was most gratified to have the East Bay Tea Party agree to take on advocacy of this issue through their web-site and e-mail alerts to their members. You can view what they have put up in support of this joint effort HERE.
In addition, I am working closely with a member of the Core Council in order to craft a message to take to national Tea Party organizations. I encourage all parents and those interested in the issue of vaccine safety to work with whatever organizations in their community might be supportive of these efforts. And if you are a democrat, I strongly encourage you to contact your party and tell them to get on the right side of AB2109 as well.
Kent Heckenlively is Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.