CBNNews.com - WASHINGTON - On the surface, it sounds like a no-brainer. Get a vaccine shot to help prevent cervical cancer. It's effective if it's given to young women before they become sexually active. The vaccine protects against the HPV sexually transmitted disease which causes cervical cancer.
Texas Governor Rick Perry is all for it. "For the first time ever, we have a vaccine that can prevent cancer," said Perry. But the governor decided to bypass the state legislature and instead issue an executive order that requires sixth grade girls to receive the vaccine. Parents can request a religious exemption, but some conservative parents are wondering why the governor should be making a decision like that.
"I think its safety issue for my daughters. You have daughters that need to be vaccinated, you're a mother so really I think that's a parental decision," said Marylen Child. In addition these conservative Texas parents are concerned that it sends a message essentially encouraging promiscuity because girls may now think since they're vaccinated against a sexually transmitted disease, they can treat sex more loosely. One parent said, "It is something you've got to explain to your kid and say this is what it is for, this is not a license to go out and have sex."
Perry is also taking heat because the maker of the vaccine, Merck, contributed a total of $6,000 during his re-election campaign. Perry defends his actions and says his decision is not tied to that. Merck had been lobbying for the mandatory vaccine in 20 states but now says it will stop doing so. This week a House committee in the Texas State Legislature voted to override Perry's executive order. The bill now goes to the full House.
Many Texas lawmakers have complained that the governor bypassed them altogether. So now it does look like the governor will have a fight on his hands in the legislature. There seems to be significant support to overrule the governor on this vaccine issue.