A red menace

A demonstrator who threw a brimming menstrual cup at California senators underscores—once again—how weird the anti-vax movement is

Turns out politicians don’t like getting splattered with what may be blood, even on a rare full-moon Friday the 13th.

During what was already going to be an end-of-the-2019-session marathon inside the California Senate Chambers, lawmakers had to pause the people’s business when an anti-vaccine demonstrator lobbed a plasma-filled feminine hygiene device over the gallery’s second-floor balcony onto the Senate floor, according to the California Highway Patrol. “The liquid landed on several members of the Senate,” the CHP stated five hours after the incident, which occurred approximately 5:14 p.m. on Sept. 13.

Capitol security arrested the woman after she left the gallery into the hallway. She was booked into jail in downtown Sacramento on charges of felony vandalism and misdemeanor battery, creating a health hazard on state property and disrupting official business inside the Capitol. Jail logs identified the suspect as 43-year-old Rebecca Lee Dalelio, who reportedly was protesting already passed legislation to limit medical exemptions for child vaccinations.

“My menstrual blood is all over the Senate floor—a representation of the blood of the dead babies,” a video recorded in the hallway showed the woman saying.

State Sen. Richard Pan of Sacramento, a former pediatrician who drafted the legislation and was shoved last month by livestreaming anti-vax activist Kenneth Austin Bennett, characterized both acts as signs of an escalating blood feud.

“Like the assault committed by Mr. Bennett, this incident was incited by the violent rhetoric perpetuated by leaders of the antivaxx movement,” Pan said in a statement. “This is an attack on the democratic process and an assault on all Californians and it must be met with strong condemnation by everyone.”

The fact that Gov. Gavin Newsom has already signed Senate Bill 276 into law doesn’t necessarily mean the furor will die down. A few days before Dalelio hurled menstrual blood and mixed metaphors, three women associating themselves with the Freedom Angels Foundation filed a referendum against SB 276 with the Office of the Attorney General. The women—Tara Thornton, Denise Aguilar and Heidi Munoz Gleisner—will need to collect more than 623,000 signatures to qualify their initiative for the 2020 ballot.

Dalelio was scheduled to appear in Sacramento Superior Court on Tuesday, after SN&R’s print deadline.