Vatican on Vaccines
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Children of God for Life Urges W. Virginia Lawmakers: Abandon Gardasil Mandate
For Immediate Release, February 9, 2007
(Murfreesboro, TN) Children of God for Life is urging West Virginia lawmakers to scrap HB 2835 mandating Merck’s new Gardasil HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine.
Following last week’ hotly debated Executive Order by Governor Perry to mandate Gardasil in Texas, West Virginia is the latest of at least two dozen states proposing to add the controversial vaccine as a requirement for school attendance. However, unlike Texas and 48 other states including DC, which have laws allowing parents to opt-out, WVA and Mississippi are the only two States that do not provide religious or philosophical exemptions for vaccines.
“It is utterly disgraceful that WVA would force this vaccine on families, especially when their State law provides no relief to those who object to other vaccines,” stated Children of God for Life Executive Director, Debi Vinnedge. “Even if they include an opt-out for Gardasil, such a move would be unconstitutional for parents who have religious objections to other vaccines, such as those using aborted fetal cell lines.”
While Gardasil does not utilize aborted fetal cell lines – a primary focus of Children of God for Life, the group noted it raises other moral concerns. And they are not alone. Since Perry’s actions last week, numerous family and medical groups agree that this is a family decision for the parents – not the State.
In a statement released Jan 22, the American College of Pediatrics noted that mandating Gardasil for school attendance “is a serious, precedent-setting action” replacing parental medical decision making with government regulations.
Likewise, Focus on the Family warned last year, that state officials, not parents, would become the primary sexual-health decision makers for America’s children.
Vinnedge noted, “Mandating Gardasil is like the State mandating condoms for children. And neither one is effective at preventing cervical cancer. The HPV virus’s incubation period is 20 years, yet this vaccine was tested for only 4 years. No one knows whether this will prevent cervical cancer at all.”
Last year the Associated Press reported the FDA warning that, “any advantage the vaccine provides in protecting against the four virus types could be offset by infection by any of the multiple [over 100] other types of HPV that the vaccine does not cover.” The FDA further noted that “the vaccine may lead to an increased number of cases of a cancer precursor among patients already infected by any of the four virus types at the time they receive the vaccine, and whose immune systems have not cleared the virus from their bodies.” (1)
“West Virginia is already a quagmire of contention in their antiquated State regulations on vaccines,” noted Vinnedge. “If they intend to mandate Gardasil, they must provide an opt-out clause and add religious exemptions for other vaccines as well. Anything less would be a gross infringement on parental rights.”
(1) Press of Atlantic City, Atlantic City, NJ, May 17,2006; AP Press Writer Andrew Bridges http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/newjersey/story/6364624p-6220794c.html
To view a copy of the WVA HB 2835 bill go to: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2007_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/hb2835%20intr.htm