The California Vaccine Bill Fight Reached a Fever Pitch

Over the last few blog posts, we have documented for you the violence and cyberbullying carried out by anti-vaccine activists against legislators in California over Senate Bill 276 and its amendments. As the bill was signed into law by Governor Newsom, the rhetoric got even more heated, with more lies and misinformation about vaccines being spread by anti-vaccine activists… And with one activist doing something incredibly reprehensible.

The Washington Post put it all this way:

“First, protesters blocked the entrance to the state capitol Monday and repeatedly shut down the legislature with their demonstrations as Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed the bill, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Then, a candlelight vigil Wednesday for children allegedly harmed or killed by vaccines included a photo of Ethan Lindenberger, who chose to be vaccinated against his parents’ wishes and has testified before Congress. Jonathan Lockwood, executive director of the anti-vaccine group Conscience Coalition, which organized the vigil, did not immediately respond to a question about why the photo was used.

The state legislative session closed Friday with a dramatic display from the gallery: A woman threw “a feminine hygiene device containing what appeared to be blood” at the senators from a balcony, the California Highway Patrol said.”

That’s right, a woman took a menstrual cup filled with what she said was her blood, and she threw it into the area where legislators were sitting. Starting at around the 46-minute mark of the following video, the woman in question is being detained by law enforcement. She then goes into a rant about what she did and why she did it:

Almost immediately, some anti-vaccine groups disavowed the woman’s actions, stating that she was not part of “their movement.” Unfortunately, these statements of discontent with her actions are quickly followed by additional misleading statements and conspiracy theories about the incident and about vaccines.

Author: René F. Najera, DrPH

I am the editor of the History of Vaccines site, an online project by the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. All opinions expressed on these blog posts are not necessarily those of the College or any of my employers. Check out my professional profile on LinkedIn: Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @EpiRen

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