I’ll be doggoned. Texas, of all places, is going to break ground on an issue that some social conservatives aren’t happy about: the vaccination against a leading cause of cervical cancer. From the Houston Chronicle:
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.
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.
Our governor really isn’t my favorite politician, but he’s right about this one. Still — I’m stunned. Of all places…. And I bet he’s still going to have his ear chewed on by the “base”:
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.
It’s not exactly a mandate if one can choose to opt out, is it?
Then again, conservative groups have also objected on the grounds that innoculating against something that is transmitted sexually would give tacit permission for their children to have sex. Frankly, I continue to be amazed that people think their children care about their permission on that subject — tacit or otherwise.