Home » Opinion » Editorials
State vaccines: Bachmann vs. Perry
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s executive order requiring 12-year-old girls to be vaccinated against HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that raises the risk of cervical cancer, was a flashpoint at this week’s Republican presidential debate. The subject needs more light, less heat.
Perry has some questions to answer. He has said his order was a mistake because it bypassed the legislature and because it allowed parents to opt-out instead of letting them opt-in. OK, but where does he draw the line on state vs. parental authority in this area? An opt-in is hardly a mandate, so does he now think girls should not be required to get the vaccine?
Michele Bachmann characterized Perry as forcing “innocent children” to get “government injections.” She later suggested that Gardasil, the vaccine in question, might cause mental retardation. She also said the vaccination was “dangerous.” Nonsense. What’s dangerous is the irresponsible spreading of false rumors about vaccinations. Such fearmongering already has caused children to die, and she is spreading that fear for political gain.
States absolutely have the authority to require vaccinations against a very limited number of communicable diseases. Bachmann suggests they do not. That list includes diseases transmitted by sexual activity. States, including New Hampshire, require vaccination against Hepatitis B, a blood-borne disease that often is transmitted sexually.
The question is not whether a state should require vaccinations, as Bachmann seems to suggest, but where the line is drawn. That’s the question both Perry and Bachmann need to answer.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Page One Editorial: Control of NH’s future: Today’s House vote will be one for the ages - 16
- Consider Nevada: Gambling always expands - 9
- Missing the point: The IRS scandal and state power - 25
- Helping panhandlers: A method worth trying in Manchester - 7
- For the people: A century of the NH primary - 0
- What innovation? The casino way is the lazy way - 10
- Not so merry: Giving Robin Hood a bad name - 4
- Disengaged: Obama's lousy excuse - 15
- Underestimating NH: Gun control picks two wrong targets - 35
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Gambling bill scuttled, 'Now it is going to be really tough' for budget - 2
- NHIAA Roundup: BG girls’ tennis team sweeps Pinkerton - 0
- NHIAA box scores, summaries for May 22 - 0
- Officials say Goffstown High ‘safe’ after threat of violence - 0
- Manchester Community College graduates told ‘speak your minds’ - 0
- Portsmouth manhunt suspect turns himself in to police - 0
- Nurse said Exeter Hospital is making her a ‘scapegoat’ in hepatitis case - 0
- Derry council defends officials' purchases - 0
- Nashua librarian reports E-books flying off virtual shelves - 0
Memorial Day events in New Hampshire
Milford team wins seatbelt challenge
Bruins seek repeat effort and complete sweep
Consider Nevada: Gambling always expands