SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM DR. BRIAN STENZLER, CCA PRESIDENT
In light of the proposed legislation – Senate Bill 277 – to remove the personal beliefs exemption for vaccinations in the State of California by Senators Pan and Allen, the California Chiropractic Association (CCA) has put together some very important highlights that should be mentioned if you were to send letters to legislators or meet with them in person.
These letters are geared towards letting our legislators aware that if there is a risk with a medical procedure, there should be a choice. This is not about bashing vaccines or claiming that they don’t work. We all know that there is good research and bad research on both sides of the argument and we don’t want to bring those in to play. All of the facts listed below can be found on government websites and therefore have no opinion or potential “bad” research. Also, we beg you to not make personal attacks on the legislators involved with this or those who don’t agree with our side; there is no reason for that type of behavior and it makes our cause look unsophisticated and hurts our chances of victory.
Please use these letters as an outline for your OWN PERSONAL letter, but stick to these talking points as much as possible. Mailed in letters to legislators LITERALLY weigh a ton more than emails. Form (copied) letters don’t weigh as much as originals, so please don’t just copy and paste these.
Feel free to take components from any of the suggested letters, or create your own from the talking points below. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the California Chiropractic Association at email@example.com.
If you feel compelled to help the CCA beat this upcoming bill and would like to contribute funds to the CCA Media Fund, you may do so by joining the Chiros4Choice campaign. Donating to the media fund will enable you to make a tax deductible contribution as a business expense and all of the contributions will be used towards raising awareness and beating this bill. The option to donate to the political action fund helps fund the CCA’s lobby efforts, which include this and other bills pertinent to those we serve as well as the sustainability and success for the chiropractic profession. Both campaigns have the option to make your contribution on a recurring basis if you so wish (which we very much appreciate).
Thank you for passion and desire to fight for the children of America!
Brian A. Stenzler, DC – President, California Chiropractic Association
What is SB 277?
On February 19th 2015, California lawmakers introduced legislation (SB 277) that would eliminate the “personal belief” exemption for parents who choose not to vaccinate their children.
Over the past few years, many people have opted out of vaccination because they question the safety of vaccines, they are philosophically opposed to vaccines, or on the basis of sincerely-held religious belief.
Senate Bill 277 will eliminate the “personal belief” exemption altogether.
Senator Pan, who is also a pediatrician, states on his website.
Citing statistics that indicate that immunization rates have dropped below 90 percent in some areas, Senator Pan indicated that the protection of “herd immunity” may be at risk, thus causing more people to become infected.
SB 277 will require that only children that have been immunized for various diseases, including measles and Pertussis (whopping cough), be admitted to a public school in California. The bill will also require schools to notify parents of immunization rates at their child’s school.
Why Many Chiropractors Oppose SB 277
According to the California Chiropractic Association this bill will remove the Personal Belief Exemption and mandate full vaccination of any pupil, from daycare through secondary school including public and private, in order to attend. It also does not limit the ever expanding vaccine schedule or limit the requirement of additional vaccines to attend school, there are over 300 new vaccines in the pipeline. This is clearly an attack on parents rights to choose whether or not to submit their child to a medical procedure with inherent risks.
SB277 also removes the language requiring the doctor to educate the patient of the benefits and the risks of the vaccine.
Why is this important?
The California Chiropractic Association OPPOSES proposed legislation by Senators Richard Pan and Ben Allen to eliminate all parental rights regarding vaccinations of their children.
Here are some of the reasons why the CCA is in opposition
• Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”.
• Opinion 8.08 of the American Medical Association (AMA) states, “The physician has an ethical obligation to help the patient make choices from among the therapeutic alternatives consistent with good medical practice. Informed consent is a basic policy both in ethics and law that physicians must honor…”
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends sixty nine doses of sixteen different vaccines between birth and age eighteen, with 49 vaccines given before the age of six.
• The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 established the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) as a federal no-fault system to compensate persons (or families of persons) who are injured by covered childhood vaccines, has paid out over $2.8 billion to families whose children have died or suffered other adverse reactions. The vaccine injury/death payouts since 1989: $2.8 billion paid so far, a total of $3.1 billion if you include attorney fees. If you look at the past 5 years, you will see an average of $221,000,000 paid out per year in comparison to the complete 26 years since 1989, the average is $120,000,000. That means that the past 5 years have nearly doubled in damages paid out.
• Percentage of children who can’t, for one health reason or another be vaccinated. Statewide = 0.19 percent.
• Managed by the CDC and FDA, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) reports more than 30,000 vaccine related injuries annually. Since 2000, 142 Californians have suffered adverse reactions, resulting in 46 deaths of California citizens. 52.82% of these adverse reactions were suffered by children under the age of 11 months. During that same time period, VAERS reports the death of 707 American citizens (as opposed to 4 deaths related to the measles in the U.S. during the same time period).
• Existing California law (AB 2109 Pan) required consultation with a doctor before receiving a personal exemption has been in effect for only one year. In this time there has been a 20% reduction in parents seeking a personal exemption (opt out rate dropped from 3.15% to 2.5%).
• The safety of vaccines is not absolute and no medical doctor administering a vaccine would sign a paper stating the safety of vaccines is absolute
• Science is always changing (bloodletting was once the standard of care, eggs were bad, and low fat diets prevented heart disease. All refuted by the latest science)
• Ingredients of vaccines are always changing and new vaccines are constantly being placed on the market (which we will also be forced to use if this bill were to pass).
• Since the manufacturers and people who administer vaccines have no liability for adverse reactions, it would be unethical to have an absolute mandate to vaccinate. With no liability, they have little fiscal incentive to create the safest product possible.
• The reason the manufacturers don’t have liability is because the US Supreme Court concluded vaccines are unavoidably unsafe products.
• The government & media rails on and on about non-vaccination PUTTING people at risk failing to grasp the elementary point that not vaccinating is a non-action. Non-actions don’t PUT people at risk. If the risk were not already in existence there would be nothing to protect against and hence no reason to vaccinate. DUI on the other hand is an action that creates a risk that did not previously exist.
Here are some recent pictures of Circle of Docs members who went to Sacramento to lobby against SB 277 this past month.
What Can You Do About It?
Actions that can be taken without need to coordinate with CCA.
As long as the petition language is professionally appropriate, sign any and all petitions meeting professional standards. At the appropriate time we will collate the petitions and report one number.
Send emails to your local Assembly and Senate representatives.
Use the sample letters provided at https://votervoice.net/CCAACTION/Campaigns/38817/Respond
Personalize the letters so they don’t look exactly like the samples
Stay with the framing of the issue provided. It’s about choice/informed consent. We are NOT anti-vaccine we are pro-informed consent and choice. Make the case that the data (provided in our talking points) demonstrates there are risks to taking the vaccine so there should be choice.
Send hand written letters to your local Assembly and Senate representatives.
Find out where to reach your representative in their district.
Monitor your representatives’ web site, Facebook, twitter etc. so you know where they are going to be in your community. Look for opportunities to connect with your representative.
If they are having a “coffee,” health fair, town hall etc. in your community attend for the opportunity to chat with you representative about this issue.
Bring information (available on https://www.calchiro.org/content/oppose-elimination-immunization-personal-belief-exemption) to leave with your representative.Always comport yourself professionally.
Request a meeting at your representative’s district office.
They are usually available for these meetings Thursday afternoons and Fridays.
If the legislator is not available ask to meet with the District Coordinator/Director. This person is second in command to the Chief of Staff and has a great deal of influence with the legislator. Especially, regarding district interactions.
Do’s & Don’ts of Grass Roots Activities
Don’t ever tie up a district or capitol office’s phones and faxes. This only impairs their ability to serve others and that creates enmity for our cause. It is NOT an effective call to action tactic.
Do call the district office when you have time and express your position professionally. The district office will log ALL contacts (phone calls, emails, letters, coffees etc.) with constituents by subject/bill number in a data base and report to the legislator weekly on this data.
Don’t ever be rude, aggressive, confrontational or threatening
Don’t ever mention money in any context, be it raising money to get them out of office or that you contributed to their campaigns in the past.
Do ask what the legislator’s position is on the bill.
Do check in once a week to ask if the legislator has taken a position yet.
Do stick to the message.
Do be passionate, but remember to sound reasonable and non-confrontational.
Remember, to get respect you have to give respect.
Legislative Time Line:
SB 277 can be heard in Policy committee after March 22.
It has not been referred to a policy committee as of March 4.
Once it is referred to a policy committee it must be set for hearing no later than May 1.
This bill amends three separate code sections thus technically, three separate policy committees could request the bill be heard in their committees. It will be heard first in Senate Health Committee (the Chairs of the other committees must request the bill be referred to their committees). It would be unusual for the bill to be triple referred since this seldom happens with non-controversial measures. Given the controversial nature of the policy in this bill, committee Chairs may be happy to let Senate Health deal with the issue.
The bill is keyed fiscal and so must go to Appropriations Committee.
The bill is a state mandate and will cost more than $50,000, so it will be sent to the Suspense File (where all bills costing taxpayers more than $50,000 are sent until decisions are made on what should be funded. Normally, these decision are made by the Leadership team usually comprised of the Chair of Appropriations, Senate Pro Tem, Chair of Budget, Caucus Chair. Assembly team similarly comprised).
The bill must be heard in fiscal committee, and taken off the Suspense File no later than May 29.
If the bill comes off the Suspense File it will be sent to the Senate Floor for a vote.
The bill must pass of the Senate Floor by June 5. It is a majority vote bill (21 Ayes needed to pass).
If the bill goes to the Assembly:
The bill must be heard in policy committee no later than August 17.
If it passes the policy committee(s) it must be heard and passed out of fiscal committee no later than August 28.
If the bill passes out of fiscal committee it goes to the Assembly Floor for a vote.
The bill must pass of the Assembly Floor by September 11. It is a majority vote bill (41 Ayes needed to pass).
For questions or comments, please contact Cris Forsyth, CCA Governmental Affairs Director at 916.648.2727, ext 130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
California Chiropractic Association
1451 River Park Drive, Suite 230
Sacramento, CA 95815