The bill (AB 16), introduced by Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, would make inoculation with Guardasil, the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, mandatory for all girls 11 years of age and older in California.
At any given time, some 20 million Americans are infected with HPV, making the virus the most common sexually transmitted disease in the nation. HPV infection can cause genital warts and is a leading cause of cervical cancer, a disease that kills 3,700 American women annually.
The proposed legislation has raised some serious moral questions among lawmakers who feel that state mandated vaccines infringe upon the right of parents.
“This, to me, is clearly an issue between a child and a parent, especially when we know that this vaccine is for a disease that is shown to only occur through sexual activity,” said Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster. “The point is that I have certain values and issues to which I deal with my daughter on. And it seems like it sends an inconsistent message about sexual activity.”
“This is the first time we have had a chance to prevent a virulent form of cancer,” said Lieber, who has also raised some eyebrows recently with a proposed ban on spanking. “What we’re trying to do is prevent disease, not mandate morality,” added Lieber.
Mike Adams is a consumer health advocate and opponent of the mandatory vaccination bill. “This is another ridiculous example of the state stripping freedom from parents and subjecting young girls to yet another harmful vaccine based entirely junk science,” said Adams. “It is nothing short of medical tyranny when lawmakers decide to force their own medical opinions and distorted scientific biases upon the entire population, essentially at gunpoint.”