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Actor Rob Schneider Joins In Protest Against Anti-Vaccination Bill

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - We've heard it time and again from small business owners how red tape and regulations are choking California's growth and tamping down the rights of the people who live here.

Wednesday, we heard it from a Hollywood actor who was in Sacramento.

"Gov. Brown, this is a bad piece of legislation. Gov. Brown, veto this bill. You can do it; veto this bill," said Rob Schneider at a protest against AB 2109.

Actor and comedian Schneider traded a camera for a crowd Wednesday, giving his support for a topic he calls no laughing matter.

"At a certain point you have to draw a line in the sand and people have to put their hands up and be counted for," said Schneider.

The issue Schneider is willing to cross the line for is AB 2109, a bill that would require parents to get a doctor's signature if they choose not to immunize their kids.

"This is taking parental rights away and it's putting government between parents and medical decisions for their children," said Dawn Winkler, National Vaccine Information Center.

Winkler says she once looked down on parents who chose not to immunize, until her daughter started getting sick.

"I was told repeatedly it's all normal. Don't worry about it, there's nothing wrong with your child," said Winkler. "She died at 5 ½ months old, and I firmly believe it was caused by vaccination."

But most doctors say the chances of death from immunization are extremely rare, while the odds of infection are only getting higher.

"Over the last 35 years, personal belief exemptions, parents who don't want their kids vaccinated, have increased over five times," said Dr. Dean Blumberg, U.C. Davis Children's Hospital.

While doctors say that puts kids who do get vaccinated at risk, they emphasize the bill is meant to help educate and not regulate. However, parents say doctors won't sign off on the exemptions, thus taking the decision out of their hands.

"Out of the 105 (doctors) I called, it narrowed down to only 10 of the doctors would only see my daughter," said protestor Amy Helstrup.

With an activist actor in tow, parents are hoping, with a little luck, they'll get the governor to kill the bill.

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