August 16, 2011

More On Rick Perry And Gardasil

Well, Gov. Rick Perry finally admits he was wrong on the 2007 effort to force Gardasil on every little girl in Texas.

His third question from the crowd was about an issue that his critics have touched on — his 2007 mandate for girls to get vaccinated against the cervical cancer-causing HPV virus.

“I signed an executive order that allowed for an opt-out, but the fact of the matter is I didn’t do my research well enough to understand that we needed to have a substantial conversation with our citizenry,” he said. “I hate cancer. Let me tell you, as a son who has a mother and father who are both cancer survivors.”

Perry said he’d invested government resources in cancer cures, adding, “I hate cancer. And this HPV, we were seeing young ladies die at the early age. What we should have done was a program that frankly should have allowed them to opt in, or some type of program like that, but here’s what I learned — when you get too far out in front of the parade they will let you know. And that’s exactly what our legislature did.”

I'm glad he's recognized he was wrong, and even admits he should have set up an opt-in program than mandating its use with parents permitted to petition -- subject to state approval -- to exempt their children from "Doctor" Rick Perry's prescription. The reality was that he backed down in 2007 rather than get his butt kicked by the GOP-controlled legislature -- but apparently time has caused his views to mature.

But let's look at the reality of that 2007 effort.

Here are the problems with Perry’s actions in this situation.

1) He acted unilaterally, with no consultation with members of the legislative branch.

2) It is questionable whether or not Perry had the authority under the Texas Constitution or statutory law to impose the requirement.

3) Perry and his aides argued that not only did he have the right to issue the executive order, but that the Texas Legislature lacked the authority to overturn his actions or prohibit the use of state money to fund the vaccination program.

4) HPV is different from every other disease for which the state of Texas requires vaccination as a condition of enrollment in school. The others can be easily passed in a normal classroom setting in the course of the ordinary activity of going to school. HPV, on the other hand, is not ordinarily passed under such conditions — therefore the nexus between school enrollment and the vaccine is lacking.

5) If Perry’s reasoning is accepted as legitimate, then there is no legitimate barrier to a future governor issuing an executive order mandating that girls receive Norplant as a condition of enrolling in school beginning in sixth grade. After all, given the multitude of societal problems caused by teen pregnancy and the negative impact on the future of girls who do become pregnant, there is a compelling argument that such a mandate is beneficial to society and the girls — religious, moral, legal, and constitutional questions notwithstanding — and that argument is every bit as compelling as the argument for Gardasil (actually more so, given the number of teen pregnancies every year).

Besides, I think that the commercial that the manufacturer put out at the time really offers the best critique of Perry’s misdeeds in this case. It said “ask your doctor if Gardasil is right for you” — but nowhere suggested consultation with your governor or other elected officials. It is therefore clear that Rick Perry’s decision to play doctor with the little girls of Texas was the wrong one.

And before you ask, this statement still does not convert me into a Perry supporter. I still have the same reservations about him I did when I wrote this piece during the gubernatorial primary in 2010, and it will take more effort on his part to bring me around to support him for the nomination.

For my writings on the subject back in 2007, look here, here, here, here, here, and here.

ADDENDUM: Welcome Michelle Malkin readers!

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Comments on More On Rick Perry And Gardasil

To Politicaljules: Oh we'll fall for 'Hope and Change' all over again?? As long as Perry isn't Obama, he's ok? Change the names and does that sound familiar??? COME ON! Have we learned NOTHING??!!
Seriously, VET YOUR CANDIDATE!!!!! Don't ignore a warning! MAYbe it's nothing but MAYbe it's not! If it means you have to get off your butt and do some research, DO THE RESEARCH!!!
You haven't offered anything other than to say you are 'tired' of the story. Why do you think there even IS a story? Might it be to warn you of something? This isn't a candidate for dog catcher..this is for PRESIDENT OF THE FREE WORLD!
You should be HAPPY you have access to this information so you can check it out for yourself so you are knowledgable on the subject to your own satisfaction so you can vote in 2012. C'mon people! We call ourselves a Free People but are we?? Do we deserve to be?? Was Benjamin Franklin thinking of you when he hesitated in his answer and said "a Republic,..if you can keep it." in answering a woman about what form of gov't those brave and tireless men just gave us? THINK!

|| Posted by Scoobs, August 25, 2011 12:23 PM ||

I could understand why the politician acted right away instead of seeking other people's opinion. It is because he wanted to eliminate the chances of people to acquire cancer. But it is nice that he knew that he was wrong and he acknowledge it, which is not easy thing to do. I just hope that the vaccine will really help people in the near future.

Kristen B.
Onkyo tx-nr708 Reviewer

|| Posted by Kristen B., November 23, 2011 09:21 PM ||

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