“House Bill 1098 prevents state health officials from requiring the vaccine against the human papillomavirus for school enrollment until 2011. At that time, lawmakers can reconsider the issue, said Sen. Glenn Hegar, who sponsored the bill in the Senate.”

This is what happens when you try to pump genetically modified poison into the bodies of little girls Mr. Perry! You’re lucky you got off this easy without any scratches or bumps! You Scoundrel!

See what I’m talking about by clicking below…

May 9, 2007, 3:31AM
Reluctant governor yields on HPV shots
Calling a veto useless, Perry chides legislators for opposing his vaccination order

Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau

AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry, at times emotional and defiant, chastised lawmakers for overturning his mandate that schoolgirls be vaccinated against HPV as he let the law take effect Tuesday.

As Perry announced his decision to let the bill become law without his signature, he was flanked by several woman who have been affected by HPV, a common sexually transmitted disease linked to most cervical cancers. He said one woman contracted the virus from a rapist.

Acknowledging that it would be useless to veto the bill because there is sufficient legislative support for an override, he continued to try and provoke his opponents at the Capitol.

“In the next year, more than a thousand women will likely be diagnosed with this insidious yet mostly preventable disease,” said Perry. “I challenge legislators to look these women in the eyes and tell them, ‘We could have prevented this disease for your daughters and granddaughters, but we just didn’t have the gumption to address all the misguided and misleading political rhetoric.’ ”

Critics of Perry’s order countered that it was the governor who mishandled the issue from the start by not consulting with senators and representatives before issuing his Feb. 2 executive order. Only three of 181 lawmakers voted against the bill rescinding his order.

“All the governor would have had to do is talk to us and he would have seen that we would have embraced a program where there was an opt-in instead of an opt-out,” said Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

Perry’s order that all sixth-grade girls be inoculated against HPV before entering school next year would have allowed parents to opt out their daughters. But the author of the bill overturning Perry’s order, Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, said it’s much better to allow parents to decide what’s best for their daughters.

“This drug has not been properly studied to know the impact on 11-year-olds and what the long-term impact might be on those young girls’ fertility,” Bonnen said.

Next review may be in 2011
Perry said that lawmakers didn’t want to hear from some cervical cancer victims, including Heather Burcham, of Houston. The 31-year-old dying woman became exhausted and had to leave a late-night committee hearing in February before testifying after state health officials and other invited witnesses were called first.

Perry ended his press conference by showing a video on a large screen from Burcham, who she said was too ill to travel to Austin. Speaking from a bed, with an oxygen feed in her nostrils, Burcham said if she could save one child from the pain and heartbreak she has suffered “it would mean the world to me.”

Bonnen said he was offended at Perry’s “use of cancer victims as his background for an issue that he has grossly misjudged.”

Just because he doesn’t want 165,000 preteens to be “the study group” for vaccine manufacturer Merck, Bonnen said, that doesn’t mean he is uncaring about women’s health.

House Bill 1098 prevents state health officials from requiring the vaccine against the human papillomavirus for school enrollment until 2011. At that time, lawmakers can reconsider the issue, said Sen. Glenn Hegar, who sponsored the bill in the Senate.

The Katy Republican said he hopes that there will be more HPV vaccines on the market in four years and that they might be even more effective. Merck’s Gardasil vaccine protects against four strains of HPV responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancers.

Motivations still doubted
The Texas Eagle Forum was among those who questioned whether Perry was acting to benefit pharmaceutical giant Merck, whose Gardasil vaccine went on the market last June. Perry’s former chief of staff, Mike Toomey, is a lobbyist for Merck, and the governor had accepted $6,000 in contributions from the company’s political action committee.

Within three weeks of Perry’s order, Merck had abandoned its lobbying push to get states to mandate the shots. The company said the campaign was becoming a distraction in efforts to make the vaccine widely available.

Perry said he was motivated by a desire to save the nearly 400 Texas women who die from cervical cancer each year.

On Tuesday, he rejected arguments by some social conservatives that vaccinating girls and young women against HPV might encourage premarital sex.

In a written message about his decision, Perry said even if they do make wrong choices, the “greater imperative is to protect life.”

Perry also said that attempts to discredit Gardasil are “hyperbole that doesn’t stand up in light of clinical data.”

The Texas medical community is split on the issue. Among doctors’ concerns is the high cost of the three-dose shot regimen, which Merck sells for $360.

Texas will continue to pay for girls and young women covered by state health programs to receive the shots if they choose to do so.

One of the few lawmakers to support Perry, Rep. Garnet Coleman, praised his message.

“The governor and I hardly ever agree, but he has shown tremendous leadership on this issue,” the Houston Democrat said. “It is my sincere hope that we can work together next session to pass legislation that puts politics aside and does what is right for the people of Texas.”

2 Comments so far

  1. kevin whited (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 7:32 pm

    I thought this was a blog about Houston, but this has nothing to do with Houston.

    Well, you violated the copyright of a Houston newspaper by reproducing a story in full, but I don’t know if that counts.

  2. Derek Shumate (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 8:08 pm

    I can’t believe that you think Perry’s decision to force young girls to take vaccines doesn’t affect Houstonians.

    He is the governor of Texas in case you didn’t know…

    Also, I’m not making money at MetroBlog Houston so me pasting their story (with obvious due credit) isn’t copyright infringement. It’s done for your convenience so that you don’t have to click a link and follow a different site while you’re visiting this one.

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