From The Washington Post:
Texas lawmakers are fighting to block the governor’s order requiring that sixth-grade girls be vaccinated against the virus that causes cervical cancer, with the House giving key approval to a bill to make the shots strictly voluntary.
Gov. Rick Perry’s executive order has inflamed conservatives who say it contradicts Texas’ abstinence-only sexual education policies and intrudes into family lives. Some critics also have questioned whether the vaccine has been proven safe.
This bill clearly will pass both houses with enough votes to override a Perry veto. In other words, the Gardasil mandate is dead in the water.
I have mixed feelings about this one — because if the mandate is overturned, it will be overturned for the wrong reasons.
For those who believe in democracy and oppose political corruption, the real issue shouldn’t be that the mandate runs counter to conservative views on abstinence. The real issue is that Perry issued an executive order that would provide significant financial benefits to a specific company, Merck — and he did this despite the fact that it would run counter to the views of his political supporters.
Are we REALLY supposed to believe that Perry’s actions were the product of political courage? If you think this deal was about courage and not Big Pharma money, I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has an update on other HPV vaccine proposals in California and Washington.