Legislatures in two states this week backed away from bills that would require more kids to get vaccinated, measures similar to one pending in California.
Democratic lawmakers in Oregon and Washington introduced bills this year to make it tougher for parents to opt out of getting their children common vaccines, an idea proposed in California’s Senate Bill 277 in response to a measles outbreak that started at Disneyland.
The Washington bill died in its state House on Thursday when the author failed to bring it up for a vote before a key deadline, the Associated Press reported. The Oregon bill stalled after one public hearing, and its authortold the Statesman Journal on Wednesday that she didn’t have enough votes to move forward.
Opponents of mandatory vaccines saw the bills’ defeats in other West Coast states as a glimmer of hope for their opposition to SB 277 in California.
“There really was quite a response to the families in Oregon, which is a much smaller state than we are,” said Rebecca Estepp of Poway, spokeswoman for a group called the California Coalition for Health Choice, which opposes mandatory vaccines.Curiously, a Google search reveals no additional entries for "the California Coalition for Health Choice." But the spokeswoman is the director of communications for "Health Choice," whose leadership team includes leading figures in the movement to link vaccines to autism.