February 03, 2007

An Open Letter To Governor Rick Perry

Dear Governor Perry;

I'm troubled by your decision to mandate that sixth-grade girls must receive the Gardasil vaccine as a condition of exercising the right to receive a free public education in the state of Texas. I'm troubled by your staff's insistence that your unilateral action on behalf of your big campaign contributor Merck and its lobbyist, your former chief of staff, may not be revoked by the legislature using its constitutional oversight powers-- or, based upon the statement of your spokesperson, any court. But since you seem to be a graduate of the Paul Begala School of Lawmaking, I won't argue with you over the question of the legitimacy of your position.

However, since you seem intent upon forcing pharmaceuticals upon children in order to prevent a sexually-transmitted condition not readily contracted by activity in the course of a normal school day, I'd like to offer a suggestion for the next executive order you should issue. It, too, involves prevention of a sexually condition which would not often be contracted in the ordinary course of a school day, but which much more often impacts the lives and education of school-aged girls in Texas, as well as the state budget.

That condition is teen pregnancy.

Governor, in the last decade I have had 10-15% of my female students either give birth or become pregnant during the course of the school year, or even enter my tenth-grade classroom already a mother. Their pregnancies wreak havoc on their lives and education, causing them to miss school on a frequent basis due to their pregnancy or the demands of motherhood. I've witnessed them drop out of school or seek a GED rather than a diploma so they could go to work rather than college. I've seen them enter unwise, early marriages and unstable live-in situations.

Furthermore, I know that most of them have been recipients of Medicaid dollars for delivery, and for the subsequent medical care their child needs. They often find themselves on food stamps and living in subsidized housing. During their pregnancies and the post-partum period, these young women are often segregated into special educational facilities, and many school districts find it necessary to provide some sort of daycare program for the offspring of their students.

Clearly, this condition adversely impacts the lives of Texas students and their children, as well as the budgets of the state of Texas and every school district and local government. It is therefore imperative, sir, that you take action to safeguard all of the above, just as you have with your decision bypass the legislative process to mandate Gardasil via executive order.

I urge you, Governor Perry, to mandate that every entering sixth-grade girl in the state of Texas receive Norplant implants as a precondition to enrolling in a public school in the state. Furthermore, you should by executive order mandate that the replacement of those implants be required as a precondition for being permitted to continue in a public school beyond tenth grade, due to the limited effective life of the Norplant implants. This will protect every school girl in Texas from the perils of teen pregnancy, and much more effectively than the abstinence-only education programs currently offered in our public schools.

Now some may object that government-mandated Norplant violates the right of a woman, even an eleven-year-old, to control her own body. You've already crossed that line with your Gardasil executive order. Others may argue that government-mandated Norplant may give these same young woman the message that unprotected sex is now safe. But you've already crossed that line as well. And still others might argue that government-mandated Norplant might be viewed as permission to engage in sex. That line has also been crossed by your executive order. And as for those who argue that such decisions are best left to parents in consultation with family physicians -- you blew right past that line when you chose to play doctor with every little girl in the state by mandating Gardasil.

So if you are really interested in protecting young girls from sexually-transmitted conditions that negatively impact their lives, you must issue the Norplant executive order.

Unless, of course, your real motivation for the Gardasil executive order was paying back Merck for the campaign contributions and doing favors for former staffers and the family members of your political allies.

OPEN TRACKBACKING AT Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson's Website, Is It Just Me?, Right Truth, Shadowscope, Stuck On Stupid, The Amboy Times, Pursuing Holiness, The HILL Chronicles, Right Celebrity, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, stikNstein... has no mercy, The Uncooperative Blogger , Pirate's Cove, The Right Nation, Renaissance Blogger, The Pink Flamingo, Dumb Ox Daily News, Right Voices, Right Pundits, A Blog For All, The Random Yak, 123 Beta, Maggie's Notebook, Adam's Blog, basil's blog, Cao's Blog,, The Bullwinkle Blog, Conservative Cat, Conservative Thoughts, Faultline USA, Blue Star Chronicles, and Gone Hollywood, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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NAME: Greg
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