Image Source: pulaskitech.edu

If you don’t know all there is to know about the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and its vaccine by now you probably just don’t want to know. It’s been trotted out so much at the last two Republican Presidential Debates that it almost needs its own lectern. But here is the story, even for those weary of hearing it. In 2007 Texas Governor Rick Perry issued an executive order mandating that teenaged girls in his state receive the HPV vaccine to prevent the virus that causes(possibly) cervical cancer. Yes, Mr ” Keep government out of our lives” Perry by-passed the legislature and walked, no trampled, all over parental rights. Luckily the order was overturned by the legislature two months later and never went into effect. At issue is whether Perry fast-tracked the vaccine because of campaign donations from its maker Merck.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann didn’t hold back in a recent debate alleging that campaign cash and connections played a pivotal role in Perry’s executive order. Perry denied it, he couldn’t be bought for $5,000(which is the amount he says Merck donated to his campaign, turns out it’s much more) but he could(possibly) tune an ear to his former chief of staff Mike Toomey who now lobbies for Merck in Texas. There is no proof he did this but if he did it wouldn’t be news. We know that lobbyists run Washington and it stands to reason they have strong influence in states as well. The whole HPV vaccine uproar is more about a double standard than anything. Conservatives cry all the time about Obama being a socialist but wasn’t the whole mandatory HPV vaccine, in fact, socialism. A move like that would have killed a liberal candidate, poor Howard Dean screamed(to cheer up his supporters) after losing the 2004 Iowa Democratic Caucus and he was toast after that.

A bigger issue than all of the politics involved in this, in my opinion, is should it be given to girls starting at age 9? Both vaccines(Cervarix and Gardasil) have been licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for females aged 9 through 26 years and approved by Centers for Disease Control(CDC) as safe and effective but a 9-year-old. In spite of it having been tested in thousands around the world, If I had a daughter I’m not sure I would want her to get the vaccine until she fully understood her body and ALL of the risks of having unprotected sex. Sure, disease is at the top of the list, closely followed by pregnancy but right up there and just as important is saving her treasure for that someone she would want to marry and spend her life with. The HPV vaccine is sure to come up again to smack Gov. Perry and it should, would he want his daughter forced to do anything by the government he so despises. As Alex Jones said, “The really sad thing is that you have all kinds of “conservative Republicans”, “evangelical Christians” and “Tea Party activists” running around defending Rick Perry on the HPV vaccine issue. All of those people should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.” I couldn’t agree more.

Posted by Libergirl