Actor Rob Schneider made the rounds of Sacramento media today to argue that Gov. Jerry Brown should veto legislation requiring parents to receiving counseling about vaccinations before opting their children out of receiving the medicine.
Schneider, a former regular on "Saturday Night Live" who has performed in numerous motion pictures, opposes Assembly Bill 2109 by Democratic Assemblyman Richard Pan of Sacramento.
Under AB 2109, parents who exclude their children from immunization requirements would have to submit a statement, signed by themselves and their health care practitioner, that they received information about risks and benefits of the vaccines.
"This is a parental rights issue," Schneider said during a visit to The Bee Capitol Bureau.
"There shouldn't be government coercion to force parents to jump another hoop to have to make decisions on ... what's the best interest of their child," he said.
The actor, whose movies range from "50 First Dates" to "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo," said that AB 2109 would cost parents time and money to exercise a legal right based on personal beliefs to exclude their children from vaccinations.
Schneider said phone surveys have found that some doctors will drop families that opt out of immunizations.
Pan, who was unavailable for comment today, has argued that AB 2109 would not intrude upon parental rights because mothers and fathers could continue to exempt their children from receiving vaccines.
A pediatrician by profession, Pan characterizes his bill as a way to ensure that parents, before making vaccination decisions affecting their children, have key information about communicable diseases and the benefits and risks of immunizations.
AB 2109 would enable families, physicians and public officials to build healthier communities through "education to help save our children from infectious outbreaks that can only be prevented by working together," Pan contends.
The Legislature approved AB 2109 largely along party lines, with most Republicans opposed.