Friday, February 02, 2007

Kudos to Perry

Finally, somebody has the right idea, and the balls to follow through with it. Texas Governor Rick Perry has issued an executive order mandating the use of the new human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for all 6th grade girls in the state of Texas. In doing so, he sidesteps the conservative Texas legislature (who the late, great Molly Ivins called "The Ledge") and enters it directly into law.

Of course, this has conservatives howling about how the vaccine promotes premarital sex and also interfering with how they desire to raise their children.

Um... excuse me? This is a great breakthrough here. In a very rare case, we are able to provide a vaccine that can stop a form of cancer. CANCER. One of the top killers in this country right now. And we can stop it. This is the same as vaccinating against tetanus, polio, or smallpox. It has nothing to do with sex, and it certainly does not promote it to young girls. It is about saving lives.

And as far as legislating how parents raise their kids, the same vaccine argument holds true. It is standard that children get a battery of disease-preventing innoculations. Hep B is required for many college entrances. Why should this one be any different?

It galls me when these high-minded people are putting their own children at risk to cancer. Thank you Perry for taking the insightful step and bypassing all the hot air that blows around this subject.