Rick Perry Was Right About HPV Vaccinations

The only thing Rick Perry has ever done right is mandate that girls in Texas get vaccinated against HPV. I don't care what his motives were. I don't care how much money Merck made. I don't care what craven conspiracy cackle-bots like Jenny

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The only thing Rick Perry has ever done right is mandate that girls in Texas get vaccinated against HPV. I don't care what his motives were. I don't care how much money Merck made. I don't care what craven conspiracy cackle-bots like Jenny McCarthy and Michele Bachmann claim. I don't care if Perry is a parody of a caricature of a cartoon character of Dubya, I agree with what the Governor did. It was the right thing to do. Even though he's squirming away from it now.

Even Bush did one thing right. He did right in Africa with AIDS funding. One thing. Perry also has one thing.

All states should mandate that girls get an HPV inoculation. Several strains of HPV, in case you don't know, cause cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is the second leading cancer killer of women worldwide. In the United States, nearly 10,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and 3,700 women die.

Here's the thing: we could be the last generation to ever lose a friend, mother or sister to cervical cancer. This cancer, like small pox, can be eradicated by a simple vaccination. Will being vaccinated cause promiscuity? There's as much evidence of that as Bachmann's claim that it will cause mental retardation. Meaning: Zero.

There's the same prejudice from the right-wing about this vaccination as their was about AIDS in the '90s. It's was dubbed a "gay disease" and so they kind of deserved it. It's a sexually transmitted disease so don't have sex and you won't get it. What about the girls who get raped? You are vulnerable to cervical cancer if you have a cervix. End of story. Every girl should be able to get this vaccination. No one should ever have to die from cancer when it's optional. That's sick.

I wrote about vaccinations and how kids are dying now from antique diseases because of hysteria. You can read it here.

After the jump is a breakdown about state laws so you can contact your legislators:

The Michigan Senate was the first to introduce legislation (S.B. 1416) in September of 2006 to require the HPV vaccine for girls entering sixth grade, but the bill was not enacted. Ohio also considered legislation in late 2006 to require the vaccine (H.B. 703), which also failed. Since 2006, legislators in at least 41 states and D.C. have introduced legislation to require the vaccine, fund or educate the public about the HPV Vaccine and at least 20 states have enacted legislation, including Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington. The CDC announced that The New Hampshire Health Department announced in 2006 that it will provide the vaccine at no cost to girls under age 18. As of May 2007, the department reports they have distributed over 14,000 doses in the state. South Dakota's governor also announced a similar plan in January 2007 that combines $7.5 million in federal vaccine funds and $1.7 million from the state's general fund. As of May 2007, the department reports distributing over 20,000 doses of the vaccine. The Washington legislature approved spending $10 million to voluntarily vaccinate 94,000 girls in the next two years. On February 2, 2007, Texas became the first state to enact a mandate-by executive order from the governor-that all females entering the sixth grade receive the vaccine, with some exceptions. Legislators in Texas passed H.B. 1098 to override the executive order and the governor withheld his veto.

The Virginia legislature passed a school vaccine requirement in 2007 and considered a bill that would delay that requirement but it was passed by indefinitely by the Senate Committee. In 2007, at least 24 states and D.C. introduced legislation to specifically mandate the HPV vaccine for school (California and Maryland withdrew their bills). DC's bill was enacted and requirement started 30 days after Congressional Review Period expired.

About Tina Dupuy

Tina Dupuy's picture
I write for Fast Company, The Atlantic, Mother Jones and LA Weekly among many (many) others. My weekly column is syndicated in these things called "newspapers," which are analog blogs 80-year-olds seem to enjoy.

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