Biel made the rounds in Sacramento on Tuesday, joining with ant-vaxx activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at the California State Assembly to lobby against SB 276, a state bill that would limit medical exemptions from vaccinations without approval from a state public health officer.
Biel and husband Justin Timberlake were reported to have avoided vaccinating their children, but have never publicly spoken of their opposition.
“Please say thank you to the courageous @jessicabiel for a busy and productive day at the California State House,” Kennedy posted on Instagram. Several other politicians posted photos of themselves posing with Biel.
On Thursday morning, Biel posted a lengthy statement on Instagram in an attempt to clarify her position, citing anecdotal evidence about friends with a child whose medical condition “warrants an exemption from vaccinations.” The actress said she is “not against vaccinations” and supports “children getting vaccinations,” but also supports “families having the right to make educated medical decisions…” (See the full statement below).
Many commenters were unpersuaded by Biel’s clarification. In a typical response, an Instagram follower wrote: “Cool. If you don’t want to vaccinate feel free to choose home educating as well.”
Here’s Biel’s statement in full:
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 #SB277 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!
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