‘I’m not anti-vax’: Jessica Biel defends stance against controversial California vaccination bill
Jessica Biel has come out against a controversial vaccination bill in California, sparking a social media frenzy, but the actress says that she isn’t an ‘anti-vaxxer.”
The Daily Beast reported Wednesday that Biel was “coming out as an anti-vaxxer” after she appeared at the California State Assembly on Tuesday with prominent vaccine skeptic Robert F Kennedy Jr to lobby against state bill SB 276 that seeks to limit medical exemptions from vaccinations without state public health approval.
The actress later took to Instagram to explain. “I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated medical decisions for their children alongside their physicians,'” she said, adding that her concern with the bill was “solely regarding medical exemptions.”
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This week I went to Sacramento to talk to legislators in California about a proposed bill. I am not against vaccinations — I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated medical decisions for their children alongside their physicians. My concern with #SB276 is solely regarding medical exemptions. My dearest friends have a child with a medical condition that warrants an exemption from vaccinations, and should this bill pass, it would greatly affect their family’s ability to care for their child in this state. That’s why I spoke to legislators and argued against this bill. Not because I don’t believe in vaccinations, but because I believe in giving doctors and the families they treat the ability to decide what’s best for their patients and the ability to provide that treatment. I encourage everyone to read more on this issue and to learn about the intricacies of #SB276. Thank you to everyone who met with me this week to engage in this important discussion!
Biel said her friends have a child with a medical condition that makes it exempt from vaccinations and she is concerned the bill would affect the family’s ability to care for their child. However, according to a legislative staffer interviewed by Jezebel, Biel’s comments at the assembly echoed some anti-vaccination talking points, and she said her friend’s child had a reaction to vaccinations. Biel reportedly said that she refused to put her child on her doctor’s recommended vaccination schedule and said she “wants safe vaccines and mentioned ‘corporations’ a lot,” the staffer said.
Social media users were divided over Biel’s stance on the controversial issue, with many people labelling the actress an anti-vaxxer and saying that she is not qualified to speak on the matter.
The problem with Jessica Biel coming out as an anti-vaxxer is not that she’s not a doctor, it’s that she’s not even qualified to play a doctor on TV— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) June 13, 2019
“The problem with Jessica Biel coming out as an anti-vaxxer is not that she’s not a doctor, it’s that she’s not even qualified to play a doctor on TV,” journalist Lauren Duca wrote.
Many came out in support of Biel, hitting back at the backlash she is facing. “Jessica Biel is getting bashed, hated and ‘cancelled’ because she doesn’t believe in vaccinations,” Joe Rivera wrote. “This toxic outrage behavior shouldn’t be acceptable. It’s disgusting. It’s okay to have different beliefs,” he added.
Jessica Biel is getting bashed, hated & “cancelled” because she doesn’t believe in vaccinations...This toxic outrage behavior shouldn’t be acceptable. It’s disgusting. It’s okay to have different beliefs. Repeat. ITS. OKAY. TO. HAVE. DIFFERENT. BELIEFS.— Joe Rivera (@JaeB_so_nasty) June 13, 2019
However numerous others took issue with Biel lobbying against the “life-saving” vaccine laws. “For clarity – Jessica Biel is being criticized for lobbying against life-saving vaccine laws, not her ‘beliefs’,” Dr David Robert Grimes wrote. “This isn’t a matter of opinion, her actions undermine public health. She’s using her status to promote debunked conspiracy theories. That deserves harsh criticism,” he concluded.
It's also, of course, interesting that Biel apparently talked about going against the medical advice of a doctor, considering the party line from vaccine "skeptics" on this bill is that they want the decision to remain between them and their doctors and not The State.— Anna Merlan (@annamerlan) June 13, 2019
Meanwhile others just took the whole furor as an opportunity to crack jokes about the actress and her career.
Vaccines definitely work. Movie theaters were vaccinated against Jessica Biel back in 2012 and look. They worked.— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) June 13, 2019
If only Jessica Biel had a project we could boycott pic.twitter.com/PMMQhVPlhA— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) June 13, 2019
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