Jessica Biel made headlines this week after she was photographed with a prominent anti-vaccination advocate, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. The photo sparked concerns that Biel, who is married to Justin Timberlake and has one son, was actively campaigning to allow more freedom to parents not wanting to vaccinate their children.
Biel is an advocate of California bill SB 276, which seeks to set limits on medical exemptions for vaccinations (aka, the current way anti-vaxx parents get out of having to vaccinate their children). Now, Biel has spoken out, sharing why she’s supporting the bill and saying that despite hanging around anti-vaxxers and helping them promote bills detrimental to herd immunity, she’s not one herself.
“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,” Biel wrote on Instagram.
“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,” she continued. “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.”
While we can see where Biel is coming from, critics have been quick to point out that changing an entire state’s law for one child isn’t exactly helping the pro-vaccination cause — and blocking the bill will result in thousands of children going unvaccinated each year.