Last updated on: 2/6/2015 | Author: ProCon.org

Barbara Boxer Biography

Title:
US Senator (D-CA)
Position:
Pro to the question "Should Any Vaccines Be Required for Children?"
Reasoning:

“We write today to ask that you and other appropriate state officials reconsider California’s policy on vaccine exemptions…

While a small number of children cannot be vaccinated due to an underlying medical condition, we believe there should be no such thing as a philosophical or personal belief exemption, since everyone uses public spaces. As we have learned in the past month, parents who refuse to vaccinate their children not only put their own family at risk, but they also endanger other families who choose to vaccinate.

California’s current law allows two options for parents to opt out of vaccine requirements for school and daycare: they must either make this decision with the aid of a health professional, or they can simply check a box claiming that they have religious objections to medical care. We think both options are flawed, and oppose even the notion of a medical professional assisting to waive a vaccine requirement unless there is a medical reason, such as an immune deficiency.

Furthermore, recent reports have shown that the problem is not limited to parents opting out of all vaccinations. There is also a growing trend of parents failing to follow full vaccine schedules and schools and daycare centers failing to track those families that have pledged to get the required vaccines after the year begins. We think that under your leadership, California can change this practice and reassure families that all children are safe at schools, daycare centers, and in other public places.”

Cowritten with Dianne Feinstein, “Boxer, Feinstein Urge California Health and Human Services Secretary to Reconsider State’s Policy on Vaccine Exemptions,” boxer.senate.gov, Feb. 4, 2015

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Experts
Individuals with advanced degrees in fields relevant to vaccines and healthcare. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to vaccines and healthcare.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • US Senator (D-CA), Jan. 1993-present
  • Senior member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
  • Vice Chair, Senate Select Committee on Ethics, 2015-present
  • Chief Deputy Whip, 2005-present
  • Chairperson, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, 2007-2015
  • Chairperson, Senate Ethics Committee, 2007-2015
  • Founder, Senate Military Family Caucus, 2010
  • Member, US House of Representatives, Jan. 1983-Jan. 1993
  • President, Marin County Board of Supervisors, 1980
  • Board member, Marin County Board of Supervisors, 1977-1983
  • Congressional Aide, 1974-1976
  • Journalist and Associate Editor, Pacific Sun newspaper, 1972-1974
  • Stockbroker/Economic Researcher, Wall Street securities firm, 1962-1965
Education:
  • BA, Economics, Brooklyn College, 1962
Other:
  • Twitter handle: @SenatorBoxer
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Any Vaccines Be Required for Children?