In the latest GOP debate Rick Perry offered up yet ANOTHER lie to justify his Gardasil mandate. I had to shake my head when I heard this…
Congresswoman Bachmann, in the last debate you criticized Governor Perry for his executive order mandating that 6th graders get the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. Then afterward, you suggested that the vaccine was linked to mental retardation and you said that it could be, quote, “potentially be a very dangerous drug.”
But the American Academy of Pediatrics has looked at it and says that the HPV vaccine has an excellent safety record. So my question to you is, do you stand by your statement that the HPV vaccine is potentially dangerous? And if not, should you be more careful when you’re talking about public health issue?
BACHMANN: Well, first I didn’t make that claim nor did I make that statement. Immediately after the debate, a mother came up to me and she was visibly shaken and heart broken because of what her daughter had gone through. I so I only related what her story was.
But here’s the real issue, Governor Perry mandated a health care decision on all 12-year-old little girls in the state of Texas. And by that mandate, those girls had to have a shot for a sexually transmitted disease. That is not appropriate to be a decision that a governor makes.
It is appropriate that parents make that decision in consultation with their doctor.
But here’s the even more important point, because Governor Perry made a decision where he gave parental rights to a big drug company.
That big drug company gave him campaign contributions and hired his former chief of staff to lobby him to benefit the big drug company.
That’s what was wrong with that picture.
WALLACE: Governor Perry, obviously 30 seconds to respond.
PERRY: Thank you.
I got lobbied on this issue. I got lobbied by a 31-year-old young lady who had stage 4 cervical cancer. I spent a lot of time with her.
She came by my office talked to me about in program.
I readily admitted we should have had an opt-in, in this program.
But, I don’t know what part of opt-out most parents don’t get. And the fact is, I erred on the side of life and I will always err on the side of life as a governor as the president of the United States.
Perry and Burcham, a teacher from Houston, Texas, struck up an unusual friendship in the months after he issued his executive order. While the Texas legislature was working to revoke the mandate, Burcham traveled to Austin to testify about her personal experience with cervical cancer and how the HPV vaccine might help spare other young women from suffering a fate similar to her own.
And have to say, trying to shift this to opt-in versus opt-out is simply NOT the issue. It is that Rick Perry, to suck up to Merck, issued an EXECUTIVE ORDER to force this shot on 12 year old girls, side-stepping the Texas legislature. He did not do it because of a 31 year old woman with cancer, whom he didn’t meet until AFTER he had been STOPPED and was trying to do save face PR.
It’s like Rick Perry is trying to float which excuse to use today that people may buy.
h/t to scsalon.org
Photo Courtesy of the Wilson family
Although Rick Perry said at a debate on Thursday that he was “lobbied” by a 31-year-old woman suffering from cervical cancer to require young girls to receive the HPV vaccine, he did not meet the cancer patient until after he had already issued his executive order mandating the vaccine.
It was a rhetorical high point for Perry at the debate in Florida, when he put a personal face on the story and pointed to his friendship with a woman who later died of cervical cancer.
“I got lobbied on this issue. I got lobbied by a 31 year old young lady who had stage 4 cervical cancer,” said Perry. “I spent a lot of time with her. She came by my office She talked to me about this program. I readily admitted we should have had an opt-in but I don’t know what part of opt out most parents don’t get and the fact is I erred on the side of life and I will always err on the side of life as a governor as a president of the United States.”
The woman Rick Perry mentioned in the Republican debate Thursday was Heather Burcham, a thirty one year old woman dying from cervical cancer. But what Perry left out in his answer was that he met her after he issued his executive order.
Perry issued the executive order requiring sixth grade girls receive the HPV vaccine in early February of 2007, and he met Burcham while she was lobbying the Texas legislature to uphold the governor’s executive order. The legislature ultimately ruled against Burcham and Perry and did away with the vaccine mandate.
As first reported by KTRK’s Ted Oberg, the pair struck up a friendship despite the Texas legislature revoking the governor’s mandate. Perry invited Burcham to a ranch, rode motorcycles with her and even sat at her bed during her final days. Burcham died in July 2007.
Perry has often referred to Burcham on the campaign trail, saying recently he sat at the bedside of a dying woman with cervical cancer.
The Texas governor spoke at her memorial service in July 2007, saying it was a missed opportunity for the Texas legislature to not uphold his executive order.
“Though some could not see the benefits of the HPV vaccine through the prism of politics, some day they will,” Perry said in July 2007. “Someday they will recognize that this could happen to anyone’s daughter, even their own. Someday they will respond with compassion when they once responded with ignorance. And, someday, they will come to a place where they recognize the paramount issue is whether we will choose life, and protect life, without regard to what mistakes, if any, have been made in the past.”
Perry has endured a lot of criticism from fellow Republicans on the issue, particularly Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who have argued the government should not force parents to inoculate their children against what is essentially a sexually transmitted disease, even if it cuts down on instances of cervical cancer.