Jessica Biel is being labeled an "anti-vaxxer" on social media for taking an Instagram photo with vaccination opponent Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
On Wednesday, Kennedy, a lawyer and environmental activist, shared a photo of himself and Biel at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. "Please say thank you to the courageous Jessica Biel for a busy and productive day at the California State House," wrote the Democrat.
Biel, the wife of Justin Timberlake, also appeared in a Facebook photo with Devin Matthis, a Republican assemblyman in California, who wrote, "It was great seeing Jessica Biel this afternoon in the Capitol. It's awesome to have amazing partners and advocates for parental rights like her! Keep the fight alive. #VoteNoOnSB276 #CasaDeservesBetter."
California may pass a law called SB-276, which will force doctors to get permission from the State Department of Public Health before declaring a child medically exempt from vaccinations. The state bans vaccine exemptions for personal and religious beliefs and children must receive age-appropriate shots before starting school, unless they have medical exemptions.
But according to the Los Angeles Times, a growing number of children are unnecessarily labeled as medically exempt, so in March, a California senator and pediatrician named Dr. Richard Pan introduced SB-276 to monitor doctors who potentially abuse their power.
"Medical exemptions have more than tripled since the passage of SB-277. Some schools are reporting that more than 20 percent of their students have a medical exemption," Pan said in a press release. "It is clear that a small number of physicians are monetizing their exemption-granting authority and profiting from the sale of medical exemptions."
While California governor Gavin Newsom hasn't explicitly said how he feels about the bill, he suggested that it would interfere with doctor-patient relationships. Parents concerned about government overreach, especially with medically-fragile children, agree.
Kennedy, on the other hand, outright opposes SB-276. "I think it's a mistake. The vaccines it's mandating have not been safety tested," he told the website GV Wire in April.
In May, Kennedy's own family chastised him in an op-ed for Politico titled, "RFK Jr. Is Our Brother and Uncle. He's Tragically Wrong About Vaccines."
Fans are now doing guesswork and assuming Biel's vaccination beliefs based on the company she's keeping and a "source" who told In Touch Weekly in 2015 that Biel refused to vaccinate her then-7-month-old son Silas because she "feels that vaccination could cause complications."
Kennedy, meanwhile, told The Daily Beast that Biel was "upset about this issue because of its particular cruelty... I would say that she was for safe vaccines and for medical freedom..." According to the website, Kennedy says his "anti-vaxx" reputation is "a lie."
The politician told the Daily Beast, "The biggest problem with the bill, which is something I think Jessica is concerned with is that a doctor who has made a determination - if he has found children in this state whose doctors have determined that they're too fragile to receive vaccinations - this bill would overrule the doctors and force them to be vaccinated anyways."
"She was a very effective advocate," said Kennedy. "She was very strong and very knowledgeable. Extremely well-informed. An extremely effective advocate. She knows what she's talking about…She's upset about this issue because of its particular cruelty. She has friends who have been vaccine-injured who would be forced to leave the state."
Many have slammed Biel for her trip, calling it a "bad look."
However, she has her supporters as well, most notably Rosanna Arquette and Jenna Jameson.
Yahoo Entertainment reached out to Biel's representatives and will update the story with any responses.
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