Richard Pan will always live in infamy after pushing through SB277. Pan used the Disney Measles “outbreak” as a way to herd the media and vaccine proponents into a frenzy, easily turning the state of California into a mandatory vaccine haven.
Well, now he’s back up to his old tricks and he may well be topping his last performance with this new bill, which could stifle parental rights as a whole.
This was written today on Reason.com’s blog.
The bill was introduced this month by Richard Pan, the pediatrician and state senator who sponsored the 2015 law that eliminated “personal belief” exemptions from state immunization requirements for children enrolled in school or day care. Critics of the new bill, who seem to consist largely of alternative medicine advocates, portray it as a threat to parental authority, gun rights, homeschooling, and health freedom. Snopesrejects those claims, noting that the critics have a grudge against Pan and that the bill does not give state officials any new authority to interfere with child rearing. Although Snopes is right on both points, Pan’s seemingly anodyne bill does reflect some creepy and insidious moral premises.
As far I can tell, Pan’s seven-point list of rights—which among other things declares that “all children and youth” have a right to “appropriate, quality health care,” to “social and emotional well-being,” to “appropriate, quality education and life skills leading to self-sufficiency in adulthood,” and to “opportunities to attain optimal cognitive, physical, and social development”—would have no immediate practical effect. It builds on a 2009 concurrent resolution that likewise did not create any new programs, authorize any new spending, or give state or local officials any new powers.
If you are thinking this sounds like a pretty vague approach to a bill, you’d be right. It is likely intentionally vague as a way to achieve a more sweeping, nefarious effect. What “appropriate, quality health care” or “appropriate, quality education” might entail is really anyone’s guess. When it comes to “social and emotional well-being,” what are we talking about? This bill lives in an undefined lala land.
But it gets increasingly worse for parents. The new S.B. 18 says children have the right to “live in a safe and healthy environment,” and have “parents, guardians, or caregivers who act in their best interest.” So now, what happens when a parent’s concept of “safe” or “healthy” environments conflicts with government officials? Likely the children would be taken in by CPS.
This is an absolute travesty to parental rights and unfortunately, too many parents aren’t going to understand this.