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COVID-19 Response Shines Light on Need for Civil Liberty Protections: California Organization Drafts Bill to Fix Health and Safety Code

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- In an effort to protect the right to body autonomy, California Health Coalition Advocacy (CHCA) has drafted legislation that would protect the right to refuse a long list of medical and non-medical interventions issued by the California Department of Public Health and Governor Newsom.

The organization points out that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an onslaught of Governor's orders as well as an unusually high number of intrusive County Health Department ordinances. The breadth of powers granted, especially to unelected officials in county health offices, has surprised legislators and county supervisors.

Local Health Officers, who are not elected by their county constituents, have taken broad control of the response to this pandemic and created ordinances that come dangerously close to, if not outright, violating the right of Californians to decide how they manage their personal health choices.

"The right to refuse is based on fundamental constitutional principles. The sovereign nature of people necessitates that they be free and independent in all aspects of their life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without interference from governmental power structures, and these inalienable rights need perpetual protection," said Diane Miller, who drafted the bill's language and who is also an attorney and Legal and Public Policy Director of National Health Freedom Coalition. This bill would ensure that the right to refuse stays intact.

CHCA's "Personal Rights During Infectious Outbreak and State of Emergency" bill would add Section 120137 to the health and safety code. Its main accomplishment would be to establish the right to refuse requirements and restrictions recently experienced by Californians.

The bill language stipulates the following: "... individuals retain the right to be free and independent and maintain their inalienable and fundamental rights including but not limited to the right to refuse the following activities whether for direct response or prevention: medical treatments or procedures; testing; physical or mental examination; vaccination; experimental procedures and protocols; collection of specimens; participation in tracking or tracing programs; the wearing of masks; the maintaining of measured distance from other humans and animals that is not otherwise unlawful; and the involuntary sharing of personal data or medical information."

"The power of California's Public Health Department has increased unchecked since the mid-90s. With the pandemic, the extent to which the local health officer can restrict the civil liberties of individuals has become apparent," stated Valerie Noble, president of CHCA. "They have the authority to take possession of a living body, destroy property and pets, and take any action they deem necessary, whether or not those actions are evidence-based. Furthermore, a person who refuses to comply with an order is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by fines and imprisonment. It is of utmost urgency that the rights of individuals during disease outbreaks are defined and protected."

California Health Coalition Advocacy is actively seeking a legislator to author their urgency bill.

About California Health Coalition Advocacy:

California Health Coalition Advocacy is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization that initiates and influences laws and policies to expand, protect, and promote the health and well-being of Californians. This includes the right to access, consent to, and refuse products, services, treatments, information, education, exposures, and environments.

Learn more: https://californiahealthcoalitionadvocacy.org/

Related link: https://californiahealthcoalitionadvocacy.org/

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