Bucking pressure from the radical wingnut contingent that runs so strong in down there, Texas Governor Rick Perry decided to get sensible about cervical cancer prevention:
By issuing an executive order, Perry apparently sidesteps opposition in the Legislature from conservatives and parents' rights groups who fear such a requirement would condone premarital sex and interfere with the way parents raise their children.
Beginning in September 2008, girls entering the sixth grade — meaning, generally, girls ages 11 and 12 — will have to get Gardasil, Merck & Co.'s new vaccine against strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV.
Perry, a conservative Christian who opposes abortion and stem-cell research using embryonic cells, counts on the religious right for his political base. But he has said the cervical cancer vaccine is no different from the one that protects children against polio.This of course goes against the fundamentalist orthodox thinking that claims girls need the spectre of cervical cancer in order to keep their legs closed and wait until marriage before having sex. Of course, they don't consider flaws in their logic, such as child molestation, rape and other ways that even "good little girls" could get cervical cancer.
The federal government approved Gardasil in June, and a government advisory panel has recommended that all girls get the shots at 11 and 12, before they are likely to be sexually active.
The New Jersey-based drug company could generate billions in sales if Gardasil — at $360 for the three-shot regimen — were made mandatory across the country. Most insurance companies now cover the vaccine, which has been shown to have no serious side effects.--that is, except for agitated wingnut phobias of anything to do with women's health, especially when it comes to those sexual organs that supposedly got Man kicked out of the Garden of Eden.
And that makes Governor Perry's act so un-radical it's almost shocking.
Then again, it's almost difficult to be a "radical" conservative when conservatives are even claiming that condoms cause cancer.