LETTER: Unlike the abortion choice, vaccination impacts many

Re: “Walters: Newsom comment links California vaccination, abortion debate” (Opinion section, Mercurynews.com, June 5):

In his column on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s misguided anti-vaccine comments, Dan Walters uncritically conveys an anti-vaccine fallacy: Support for increased vaccination rates is inconsistent with support for women’s reproductive rights. How, Walters wonders, can the governor support the tougher vaccine requirements of Senate Bill 276 and still support a woman’s right to choose? The answer is simple.

A woman has autonomy over her own body. The decision about whether to have an abortion is between her and her doctor because the decision affects only her. When parents pursue fraudulent medical exemptions, they are making a choice that affects others, including children unable to be vaccinated.

SB 276, cosponsored by California physicians, addresses only fraudulent medical exemptions and leaves legitimate medical exemptions intact. Anyone opposing SB 276 in the name of the ‘physician-patient relationship’ is really saying that a few cheaters should be able to jeopardize the health of all our children.

Leah Russin, Cofounder, Vaccinate California, Palo Alto

Original letter in the Mercury News