On executive order, Governor Rick Perry made Texas the first state, the first governing entity, to require that girls entering 6th grade be vaccinated for Human Papilloma Virus or HPV.
Isn’t that just about the last thing you would have expected to come out of this Texas governor? Vaccination to prevent cervical cancer before a girl becomes sexually active is such a good idea it doesn’t really need debate. My great-grandmother died of cervical cancer 30 years before I was born. She died at a relatively young 55 years of age.
It’s such a good idea that it is being considered in the US Senate (SB 54) and in several other state houses besides Texas, including New Jersey, California, Georgia, and Kentucky. Now that Perry made this an executive order, the Texas state house bill, HB 146 submitted by Joe Deshotel of HD 22, is now unnecessary. Deshotel commented that he didn’t think it would have ever made it to the floor, so he was pleased at this outcome.
But this is Texas and we need to debate this anyway. FortBendNow is reporting that State Representative Charlie Howard is going to put up a fuss about this. It seems Rep. Howard thinks that vaccinating young girls will send a signal to them that it’s OK to have sex now.
Funny. That isn’t what he wrote in his letter to Perry. He made mention of how costly the vaccine was, how being vaccinated could lead to a false sense of security because it only vaccinates against one of four strains of the virus, how it is relatively new and does not have any long-term studies on its effects, and finally, how Perry usurped the authority of the legislature by making it an executive order.
But then, I guess you don’t put in writing the fact that you think 12 year old girls will all be wanting sex now that they’re vaccinated against HPV.
If that is the real issue.
Think about it. Who in their right mind (besides a few Neocon Nutjobs) believes that this is a signal to 12-year old girls that it’s OK for them to have sex now? Parents, if you don’t want your 12-year old daughters to have sex just yet, RAISE THEM with values and morals. A little guilt thrown in is always something for good measure. That should do it.
No that isn’t the issue, is it? It’s about Merck, isn’t it? It’s about a campaign contribution (and more to come). It’s about how Merck’s Texas lobbyist is Mike Toomey, Rick Perry’s former chief of staff. It’s about the huge windfall to Merck when it sells its pricey vaccine, Gardasil, three doses for a full course, at 120 dollars a pop, to the parents of every 12 year old girl in Texas.
It’s about what it’s always about.