- Editor's Note - I hope there are enough concerned and
intelligent parents in Texas who will realize the gravity of this unconstitutional
affront on their parental rights and immediately organize a to challenge
this outrageous 'proclamation' in the courts and send the self-appointed
"Decider"of Texas a clear and unmistakable message that the PARENTS
of Texas schoolgirls will decide on which vaccines their daughters will
or will not have, and not Merck Pharmaceuticals or their obliging representative
in Austin, Gov. Richard Perry. To learn more about the many dangers which
vaccines pose for the immune system and the fallacy of their effectiveness,
see our page on Vaccine Dangers
- Perry Orders Anti-Cancer Vaccine For School
- By Liz Austin Peterson
- Associated Press
- AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry
ordered today that schoolgirls in Texas must be vaccinated against the
sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, making Texas the
first state to require the shots.
- The girls will have to get Merck & Co.'s new vaccine
against strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, that are responsible
for most cases of cervical cancer.
- Merck is bankrolling efforts to pass laws in state legislatures
across the country mandating its Gardasil vaccine 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.
- Details of the order were not immediately available,
but the governor's office confirmed to The Associated Press that he was
signing the order and he would comment Friday afternoon.
- Perry has several ties to Merck and Women in Government.
One of the drug company's three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, his
former chief of staff. His current chief of staff's mother-in-law, Texas
Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women
- Toomey was expected to be able to woo conservative legislators
concerned about the requirement stepping on parent's rights and about signaling
tacit approval of sexual activity to young girls. Delisi, as head of the
House public health committee, which likely would have considered legislation
filed by a Democratic member, also would have helped ease conservative
- Perry also received $6,000 from Merck's political action
committee during his re-election campaign.
- It wasn't immediately clear how long the order would
last and whether the legislation was still necessary. However it could
have been difficult to muster support from lawmakers who champion abstinence
education and parents' rights.
- Perry, a conservative Christian who opposes abortion
rights and stem-cell research using embryonic cells, counts on the religious
right for his political base.
- But he has said the cervical cancer vaccine is no different
than the one that protects children against polio.
- "If there are diseases in our society that are going
to cost us large amounts of money, it just makes good economic sense, not
to mention the health and well being of these individuals to have those
vaccines available," he said.
- Texas allows parents to opt out of inoculations by filing
an affidavit stating that he or she objected to the vaccine for religious
or philosophical reasons.
- Even with such provisions, however, conservative groups
say mandates take away parents' rights to be the primary medical decision
maker for their children.
- The federal government approved Gardasil in June, and
a government advisory panel has recommended that all girls get the shots
at 11 and 12, before they are likely to be sexually active.
- The New Jersey-based drug company could generate billions
in sales if Gardasil - at $360 for the three-shot regimen - were made mandatory
across the country. Most insurance companies now cover the vaccine, which
has been shown to have no serious side effects.
- Merck spokeswoman Janet Skidmore would not say how much
the company is spending on lobbyists or how much it has donated to Women
in Government. Susan Crosby, the group's president, also declined to specify
how much the drug company gave.
- A top official from Merck's vaccine division sits on
Women in Government's business council, and many of the bills around the
country have been introduced by members of Women in Government.