Austin, Texas -
Bypassing the Legislature altogether, Republican Gov. Rick Perry issued an order today (Friday, February 2, 2007) making Texas the first state to require that school girls get vaccinated with "Gardasil" against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. By employing an "executive order", Perry sidestepped opposition in the Legislature and from parents' rights groups.
Perry has ties to Merck, the company that manufactures "Gardasil". Merck is bankrolling efforts to pass state laws across the country mandating Gardasil for girls as young as 11 or 12. It doubled its lobbying budget in Texas and has funneled money through Women in Government, an advocacy group made up of female state legislators around the country.
When a child is born it is entrusted into the care of it's Parents, not the Government. Just as ludicrous as taking this decision out of a Parent's hands is the fact that this vaccine has no test results proving that there will be no long term Health risks, as it is "new". There is a safe way to deal with this problem. However, the Governor and Merck do not stand to profit from it.
Parents can have their daughters opt out of the inoculations by filing an objection on religious or other philosophical grounds. Even with such provisions, such requirements interfere with parents' rights to make medical decisions for their own children.
Please tell Governor Rick Perry that what he is doing is wrong! He needs to reverse his order, take the money he stands to gain back out of his pocket and put this decision into the hands of Parent's/Guardians.