The morning after The Daily Beast reported that Jessica Biel effectively came out as an anti-vaxx activist, the actress claimed on Instagram that she is not anti-vaccinations but simply opposed to mandatory vaccinations.
“This week I went to Sacramento to talk to legislators in California about a proposed bill,” she wrote, referencing reports that she went to the state’s assembly with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., an anti-vaxx activist who peddles the baseless claim that vaccines are unsafe, to lobby against a new vaccination 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.”
She additionally claimed: “My concern with #SB276 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.”
Vaccination advocates, however, say the bill Biel is lobbying against will have minimal impact on those with valid reasons for exemption. And her opposition to mandatory vaccines is a common refrain among anti-vaxxers, one that scientists say isn’t much different because mandatory vaccination is what protects communities from outbreaks.