NYT: Texas Legislators Block Shots for Girls Against Cancer Virus

27 Apr

New York Times

Published: April 26, 2007

HOUSTON, April 25 — A revolt by lawmakers has blocked Gov. Rick Perry’s effort to make Texas the first state to require sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated against a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.

In a 135-to-2 vote that appeared veto-proof, the Texas House gave final passage on Wednesday to a Senate bill that bars the state from ordering the shots until at least 2011. Even many supporters of the governor resented Mr. Perry’s proposal as an abuse of executive authority.

“There was no public testimony — why we were jumping so fast into a vaccine that was not for a true communicable disease,” said Senator Glenn Hegar Jr., a Republican representing a district just west of Houston who sponsored the Senate bill to overturn the governor’s order. It passed 30 to 1 on Monday.

But Senator Leticia van de Putte, a Democrat from San Antonio who is a pharmacist and was the lone Senate vote for the vaccination program, said that with 400 deaths in Texas from cervical cancer each year, “I’m thinking of the women that will die because we didn’t act.” Read more…

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