Texas Governor Rick Perry has issued an Executive Order requiring 11 and 12 year old girls to undergo a series of three vaccinations against HPV (human papilloma virus), which is sexually transmitted. Besides trampling on the right of parents to be the primary decision makers in medical matters regarding their children, Perry is sending a terrible message to pre-teen children. He is, in effect, saying, “Your government expects that you will have sex before marriage – and probably before you’re a teenager.”
Perry, who describes himself as a “conservative Christian,” isn’t acting like either. Conservatives don’t use government to override the religious convictions and medical decisions of parents. And Christians don’t encourage sixth-grade girls to have sex.
Perry’s issued the Executive Order, which requires all girls entering the sixth grade to undergo the expensive vaccinations, because he feared the Texas Legislature would not pass the measure as a law. By issuing an Executive Order, he bypassed the Legislature and single-handedly gave this terrible order the effect of law. Perry should be impeached.
In addition to the questionable circumstances surrounding Perry’s pushing this vaccine – he has numerous ties to Merck, the drug company which has a monopoly on the $360 vaccine – there are many questions about whether the drug is effective. Merck claims it prevents cervical cancer.
But Andy Schlafley (who is the legal counsel for the conservative pro-family Eagle Forum), says the vaccine has not been proven to be effective. Merck’s own literature says that their virus was designed to protect against only four of more than 100 types of HPV. And they admit that it may not work: “Gardasil is the only vaccine that may help guard against diseases that are caused by human papilloma virus. “MAY” and “HELP” are big words in this context. “MAY” guard is a far cry from “will prevent.” And “HELP” is far different from the way this has vaccine been promoted as being the only way to “prevent thousands of deaths.”
Even if the vaccine does “help” prevent some disease, such a Draconian measure requiring millions of children to be vaccinated seems to be a poor tradeoff for such limited results. Let those who believe Merck’s claims choose to be vaccinated, rather than giving Merck billions of our tax dollars and insurance payments.
Also important to note is that the average age at which cervical cancer is diagnosed is 48. Merck recommends that the virus be given to children as young as nine. Governor Perry has ordered that it be given to 11 and 12 year olds in the sixth grade. That means that the virus must last more than thirty years if given to children. And even Merck cannot say that it will be effective for that long. If they had any evidence that it would, they would surely shout it from the rooftops. But they are silent on this subject. (This can be verified by reading Merck’s own package insert for the vaccine, which is available online – see LINK below.)
One thing that Merck IS sure about is that it will make billions of dollars if other states follow the lead of Texas. Texas is the first state to require the virus, but eighteen other states are considering similar laws. Merck is the only company that produces the $360 vaccine, and it has spent millions on campaign contributions and lobbying to ensure that it makes those billions.
And therein lays the problem. This is all about money – big money – and power. Merck is willing to give the big money to the politicians who will push their drug for them, and money means power to a politician. It takes a lot of money to win elections, and many politicians will do just about anything to stay in power.
According to USA Today (see LINK below), “Governor Perry has several ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company's three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry's former chief of staff. His current chief of staff's mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Representative Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.” Merck also gave thousands to Perry’s re-election campaign.
We know who Merck is. But who or what is “Women in Government”? Women in Government has introduced most of the bills all over the nation requiring young girls to be vaccinated with Merck’s questionable vaccine. You will not be shocked to discover that: (a) A top Merck official sits on Women in Government’s business council; (b) Merck has given huge sums to Women in Government; or (c) Merck refuses to disclose the exact amount Merck has “donated” to Women in Government. Not surprisingly, Susan Crosby, the group's president, also declined to specify how much the drug company gave the organization.
It is clear that Women in Government has become a front organization for Merck. If you visit their website (see LINK below), you will find that this issue is the first item featured on their home page. When you click the News button, you will find that all but two of the fifteen “news” items listed there are actually advertisements for Merck’s vaccine, clumsily disguised as news.
Merck also refuses to disclose how many millions they have spent on lobbyists and campaign donations to politicians in an effort to push this drug. We do know (only because politicians are required to disclose the source if campaign contributions) that Merck donated thousands of dollars to Governor Perry’s re-election campaign.
And, thanks to USA today, we know that their lobbying efforts helped them persuade the good governor to bypass the legislature and issue the Executive Order that has benefited Merck so much. Lobbyists normally get to top politicians through their staff. We have found that Perry’s former chief of staff now works for Merck as a highly-paid lobbyist in Texas. (Surely this is sheer coincidence.) Also, Perry’s current chief of staff is connected to the Texas State Director for – you guessed it – Women in Government.
Proponents of the vaccine point out that parents can choose to opt out of the program on “religious” grounds. But that doesn’t change the fact that this action is one more nail in the coffin of personal liberty in our nation. We have already given up far too much of our liberty and power over our personal lives and medical decisions to government. And opting out does not change the message that children have received from this program, which is that premarital sex among pre-teens is just fine with the State of Texas.
The tragedy of Texas opening this Pandora’s Box is that it will make it easier for Merck and Women in Government to succeed in other states. And the worst part about it is that Perry has modeled a way for other governors to get around (real) conservative politicians by using Executive Orders.
You may well ask, “If the legislature was going to shoot this down, can’t it just pass a law to rescind the Executive Order?” No, that is the evil genius of this ploy. The executive order will stay in effect until Perry or a later governor changes it. The legislature has no authority to repeal it, according to the Governor’s spokesperson, Krista Moody. Moody said the State Constitution permits the governor to order other members of the executive branch to adopt such rules.
MSNBC is not known for “fair and balanced” interviews. In fact, they tend to lean far to the left. But in a recent interview regarding Merck’s multi-billion dollar vaccine, MSNBC’s Chris Jansing asked Texas State Senator Jessica Farrar some tough questions. Farrar was the sponsor of the proposed legislation that would have made requiring the vaccine for schoolgirls a state law. When Jansing asked Farrar why the Governor decided to issue his Executive Order rather than allowing the legislature to debate the issue, Farrar refused to answer. (See LINK to a video of this interview below.)
Farrar’s bill had been referred to committee on January 30, but it was not voted upon. Three days later Governor Perry issued his infamous Executive Order.
Farrar also lied during the interview. When asked by Andy Schlafley of the Christian organization, the Eagle Forum, why the state didn’t use school teachers instead of school children as the “guinea pigs” for this virus, she stated that in order for it to work, it must be administered before the onset of sexual activity. But Merck’s own website states that the vaccine can be effective even after an individual has HPV.
Schlafley’s comment about “guinea pigs” refers to the experimental aspect of this program. Only a few hundred girls were involved in the drug trials for the vaccine, which was only approved six months ago. He also pointed out that the drug has not been proven to prevent one case of cervical cancer. So, in effect, the State of Texas is experimenting on these girls.
He stated that the entire program is nothing more than a case of corporate welfare that benefits Merck at a cost of billions to taxpayers and insurance companies. (By making the vaccine a requirement, the government forces insurance companies and Medicare to pay for it, which will increase both insurance premiums and taxes.)
A powerful ally of Governor Perry has personally asked him to rescind his order requiring young girls to be vaccinated. (See LINK below.) State Senator Jane Nelson, who chairs the state Senate's health and human services committee, said lawmakers should have been allowed to hear from doctors, scientists and patients before the state implemented such a sweeping mandate. "This is not an emergency,” she said. “It needs to be discussed and debated."
Moral issues aside, perhaps one of the greatest dangers of the State ordering children to receive this vaccine is the false sense of security it will give them. Merck’s website says that the vaccine “may” prevent certain types of HPV. But the children aren’t going to read Merck’s website as you and I will. They will reason that if the State requires it, it must be effective. So why not have lots of sex?
They won’t realize that a lot of people have been paid a lot of money to force them to take this vaccine. And they won’t realize that their welfare was the last thing on the minds of most of the people involved in this terrible decision.
Tom Barrett has been an ordained minister for 30 years. He has written for local and national publications for most of his life, and has authored several non-fiction books. He has been interviewed on many TV and radio programs, and speaks at seminars nationwide. Tom is the editor and publisher of Conservative Truth, an email newsletter read by over fifty thousand weekly which focuses on moral and political issues from a Biblical viewpoint.