CA Bill Criminalizes Vaccine Clinic Protests
by Children’s Health Defense California Chapter Content Team
Last updated June 29, 2021
The California State Assembly Committee on Public Safety heard SB-742 Vaccination sites: unlawful physical obstruction, intimidation, or picketing today. The measure passed as amended with a 5-2 (1 member absent) vote despite more than 100 live public comments which were overwhelmingly against SB-742.
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What’s wrong with SB-742?
This bill would criminalize the right to assemble, under an urgency clause, allowing it to go in effect immediately. With the unprecedentedly broad definitions of “picketing” and “vaccination site,” almost any attempt to engage someone in conversation near any place that could potentially offer a vaccine becomes a criminal action, regardless of the topic being discussed. As noted by one committee member, this will reach far beyond the current situation and impact protests for a myriad of topics beyond vaccination.
This bill is being passed to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations for consideration. This is likely a formality as there is no significant cost associated with the bill.
If the bill passes Appropriations, it will be heard by the Assembly as a whole.
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This article was originally published on June 28, 2021. It has since been updated to reflect the current state of the legislation.