AceShowbiz - Actress Jessica Biel is making it clear she is "not against vaccinations" for children after protesting a controversial medical bill in California.
"The Sinner" star joined politician and outspoken anti-vaccination advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at the California State Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday, June 12, to lobby against the proposed SB 276 bill.
The legislation, which was launched in March by California senator and paediatrician Dr. Richard Pan, would limit medical exemptions from vaccinations without approval from a state public health officer.
Reports suggest that if the bill is officially introduced, it would cut the number of people exempt from vaccinations by around 40 per cent.
However, Biel's appearance alongside Kennedy Jr. has split fans, with the actress coming under attack from many for apparently sharing the 65-year-old attorney's stance against childhood vaccinations.
Now the mother-of-one, who is married to Justin Timberlake, has clarified her views in a post on Instagram.
"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," she explained in a Thursday morning post, in which she shared a photo of herself standing outside the Capitol building.
Biel went on to insist her main "concern" with the bill is "solely regarding medical exemptions" as she revealed why the issue was so important to her.
"My dearest friends have a child with a medical condition that warrants an exemption from vaccinations, and should this bill pass, it would greatly affect their family's ability to care for their child in this state," she continued.
"That's why I spoke to legislators and argued against this bill. Not because I don't believe in vaccinations, but because 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."
The 37-year-old concluded her message by encouraging her followers to "read more on this issue and to learn about the intricacies of #SB276."
"Thank you to everyone who met with me this week to engage in this important discussion!" she added.
The comments mark the first time Biel has publicly addressed her views on childhood inoculations, after she and Timberlake were previously reported to have chosen not to vaccinate their son Silas, now four.