Wednesday, March 14, 2007


People Should Fight Required New Medicine

Texas lawmakers vote on cancer vaccine - Yahoo! News: "AUSTIN, Texas - Texas lawmakers are fighting to block the governor's order requiring that sixth-grade girls be vaccinated against the virus that causes cervical cancer, with the House giving final approval to a bill to make the shots strictly voluntary.
Gov. Rick Perry's executive order has inflamed conservatives who say it contradicts Texas' abstinence-only sexual education policies and intrudes into family lives. Some critics also have questioned whether the vaccine has been proven safe."

Look, we find out all the time that a drug that has been tested and on the market for some period of years has problems unknown when it was introduced. Of course, we don't want women to get HPV. Of course, it would be great if we knew the vaccine was safe to have it as an option the family discusses. The government, however, should not be requiring it. This is not a public safety issue like Mumps for example. Those are required, because they can be contracted so easily. They can cause small epidemics in schools and communities. This, however, is a private matter, and could impact these women in their later (maybe even child-bearing) years in ways that we cannot now predict. Availability for those that want to take it is lovely. Forcing it is quite another matter, especially when most of the people that are making this decision are not of the gender affected and often far beyond child-bearing years. Whatever happens will happen to others. I could not be more against the law requiring it, and it may become another of my soap box issues like the Catholic priests.
Update: My Mom actually spoke to one of the reps for the pharma producing this vaccine. He told her that there is an opt-out on the legislation, meaning that the actual mandate is to offer the vaccine, not to force little girls to get the shot. Families will still have the ability to think through, one way or the other, whether this is a course they would like for their daughter to take. I suppose the question now is why the folks reporting on this story left that nugget out.

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