Southland parents and other protesters gathered Monday in downtown Los Angeles for what they say is their right to choose whether their children are vaccinated against measles and other diseases.

Under California Senate Bill 277, all students would be required to be immunized against measles and whooping cough with one exception – a doctor’s note.

The bill was passed by the Appropriations Committee and is headed for a vote on the State Senate floor. If passed, California will join only two other states without exemptions, Mississippi and West Virginia.

California has been at the heart of the vaccine debate since an outbreak of measles linked to Disneyland earlier this year.

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