Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) called on Governor Brown to veto SB 239, which seeks to reduce to a misdemeanor the crime of “knowingly and with specific intent expose another person” to HIV.
“Democrats are trying to paint this as a public stigma issue, but this is clearly a public health issue. AIDS is still a deadly, life-threatening disease that is incredibly expensive to treat and life altering to deal with, regardless of the medical advancements that have been made,” said Assemblyman Travis Allen. “When a person who knows they are HIV-positive willfully and knowingly exposes someone to HIV, they are literally putting that person’s life in danger. It makes no sense to weaken existing penalties put in place to deter those individuals who might otherwise recklessly endanger the innocent.”
The California Academy of Preventive Medicine (CAPM) opposed SB 239 because it eliminates precautions that safeguard public health and substitutes provisions that are both inadequate and unscientific. Further, CAPM also argued that knowingly donating blood or tissue if one knows one is HIV positive is a reckless endangerment of the life and health of the potential victim and should remain a felony. Supporters of SB 239 claim that current law is “the very embodiment of stigma, codified into law”. Further supporters argue that in California the HIV-related criminal laws have been used to primarily target prostitutes who have AIDS by having misdemeanor prostitution behavior charged as felonies.
“If Jerry Brown signs this legislation, he would be siding with far left political correctness over public safety, sound medical science, and basic common sense. It’s about time for Jerry Brown to start fighting for the civil rights of the victims of crimes rather than the perpetrators. The health of the public and the innocent should take priority over extreme political agendas,” said Assemblyman Travis Allen.
This article was released by the Office Assemblyman Travis Allen.