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HPV vaccine

Angry lawmakers demand Texas vaccine order be rescinded

Wednesday, February 07, 2007 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: HPV vaccine, gunpoint medicine, Merck

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(NewsTarget) Lawmakers and parents have raised objections to Texas Governor Rick Perry's Feb2 executive order, which mandated vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) for all school-age girls.

The order directs the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to require that by September 2008, all girls entering sixth grade receive Gardasil, a new three-stage HPV vaccine produced by Merck & Co. The vaccine protects against the varieties of HPV known to cause most cases of cervical cancer.

Many lawmakers and parents have objected to the compulsory nature of the vaccine, although parents may choose to opt-out if they wish. Legislators have also complained that the governor bypassed debate in making an executive decision.

"I feel we should have the opportunity to bring this matter to a full, open debate," said State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, a Democrat who filed a bill last year proposing a similar requirement. Van de Putte signed a letter, along with 25 of the state's other 31 senators, urging Perry to rescind the order.

So far, Perry has refused. "I refuse to look a young woman in the eye who suffers from this form of cancer and tell her that we could have stopped it but we didn't," he said on February 6.

"For the Governor of Texas to force the mass vaccinations of young girls, bypassing the will of the people and the Texas legislature, is an assault on health freedom and an insult to a nation that claims to be fighting for freedom," said health advocate Mike Adams, author of "Natural Health Solutions & 'The Conspiracy to Keep You From Knowing About Them'."

"This is nothing short of medical tyranny designed to boost the profits of the drug companies who lobbied hard for these oppressive mandates. It's a handout to drug companies at the expense of the health and freedom of American families," Adams said.

Perry received a $6,000 donation from Merck's political action committee during his 2006 re-election campaign. In addition, one of the company's Texas lobbyists, Mike Toomey, used to be Perry's chief of staff.

Merck has been financing efforts across the country to pass laws requiring vaccination with Gardasil.


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