Texas governor orders anti-cancer vaccine for schoolgirls
The Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas: Bypassing state lawmakers, Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed an order Friday making Texas the first U.S. state to require that schoolgirls get vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.
By issuing an executive order, Perry apparently sidesteps opposition in the Legislature from conservatives and parents' rights groups who fear such a requirement would condone premarital sex and interfere with the way parents raise their children.
Beginning in September 2008, girls entering the sixth grade in school — generally, girls ages 11 and 12 — will have to get Gardasil, Merck & Co.'s new vaccine against strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV.
Perry, a conservative Christian who opposes abortion 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 from the one that protects children against polio.
"The HPV vaccine provides us with an incredible opportunity to effectively target and prevent cervical cancer," Perry said in announcing the order.
Full Story: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/02/02/america/NA-GEN-US-Cervical-Cancer.php
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