Biel made headlines this week after she appeared in photos next to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental activist who propagates unfounded claims that vaccines are unsafe, according to The Daily Beast. Kennedy later confirmed that the pair were lobbying the California state Assembly against Senate Bill 276, which would require families seeking exemptions from vaccines to get approval from a state public health officer.
The revelations led to suggestions that Biel herself was an anti-vaxxer, which she denied on Thursday.
“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. She added that her concern with the legislation “is solely regarding medical exemptions.”
“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,” she wrote.
Biel’s campaign with Kennedy, however, aligns her with an activist whose own brother and sister say disseminates “dangerous misinformation” that guides parents away from immunizing their kids, even as unvaccinated children are being struck by a sweeping measles outbreak, according to The New York Times.
California’s SB-276 is designed to crack down on doctors who issue fake medical exemptions, according to pediatrician and state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Calif.), who sponsored the bill.
“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.”
Biel’s representatives didn’t respond to multiple calls for comment from HuffPost.