Senator Wiener’s Statement on Decision to Pull SB 866, Teens Choose Vaccines Act

August 31, 2022

SACRAMENTO - Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) released the following statement:

“We have made the difficult decision not to call up SB 866 for a vote on the Assembly floor. While the votes are very close, we are several votes short of 41, and we don’t see a viable path for those final few votes.

“Sadly, months of harassment and misinformation — including death threats against me and teen advocates — by a small but highly vocal and organized minority of anti-vaxxers have taken their toll. The health of young people will suffer as a result. SB 866 did nothing more than empower young people to protect their own health, even if their parents have been brain-washed by anti-vax propaganda or are abusive or neglectful. With the reemergence of polio and the continued existence of viruses like mumps, the health risks to young people — like paralysis and sterility — are real and can have profound consequences.

“From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank our coalition of students, healthcare providers, and parents who deeply understand the importance of empowering people to keep themselves healthy. In particular, our student activists continually impressed me with their passion, tenacity, and willingness to sustain personal attacks by adult anti-vaxxers who were absolutely cruel toward them and anyone else who believes in science.

“When we first introduced SB 866, it was unclear if the bill would make it out of a single committee. Instead, the bill passed the full Senate and made it all the way to the Assembly floor, coming within just a few votes of passage.

“The anti-vaxxers may have prevailed in this particular fight, but the broader fight for science and health continues. This coalition isn’t going anywhere.”