By Gudrun Schultz

  AUSTEN, Texas, February 5, 2007 ( – Girls as young as nine years old will be required to undergo vaccination for the sexually-transmitted Human Papilloma Virus, after Texas Governor Rick Perry issued an executive order last Friday mandating immunization for school girls.

  Perry bypassed the State Legislature to issue the order, directing the Health and Human Services Commission to adopt rules for the administration of the vaccine.

  Multiple states are considering legislation to enforce HPV vaccination, after a nation-wide campaign promoted the “necessity” of protecting girls from the cancer-causing virus—HPV is linked to the majority of cases of cervical cancer.

  The campaign received significant funding from the drug conglomerate Merck and Co. that produces the vaccine known as Gardasil, revealed by a report from the Life Issues Institute last week.

  The company has funneled money through the advocacy organization Women in Government, made up of female legislative representatives. Most of the state bills to mandate HPV vaccination were introduced by members of the organization. As well, an official with Merck’s Vaccine Division is a Board member of Women in Government, according to the Associated Press.

  The AP also reported last week that Merck contributed $6,000 to Gov. Perry’s re-election campaign. As well, one of the drug company’s three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, who was Perry’s former chief of staff. His current chief of staff is married to the daughter of Texas Rep. Dianne White Delisi, state director for Women in Government.

  Merck has refused to say how much money is being spent on the lobbying efforts, but reports say their budget in Texas alone has doubled to between $150,000 to $250,000.

  Opponents of the vaccine say parental rights to make medical decisions for their children would be overrun by state-enforced vaccination for a highly-preventable disease that is linked to sexual promiscuity.

“Even though most states propose opt-out provisions for parents who have moral objections, the requirement intrudes on families’ privacy and it begins to chip away at parents’ authority to make moral and medical decisions for their children,” said Bradley Mattes, executive director of the Life Issues Institute. “Further, it sends a conflicting message to children whose parents advocate abstinence until marriage.

  Mandating immunization sends the message to young girls that they are expected to engage in sexual activity, Mattes said.

“It appears nearly everyone discussing the issue seems to have abdicated the concept of abstinence until marriage – the best and most simple answer.”

  As well, Mattes said the vaccine would undo years of effort to reduce the pregnancy and abortion rate of teenage girls by providing a “false sense of security among many girls, resulting in more teenage sex, other STDs, pregnancy and abortion.”

  Other organizations opposing state-controlled use of the vaccine include the Catholic Medical Association, the American College of Pediatricians (ACP), Focus on the Family, the National Catholic Bioethics Center and the Pro Family Law Center, according to a report by the pro-life advocacy group Children of God for Life.

  See previous LifeSiteNews coverage:

  Drug Conglomerate funds campaign to impose Mandatory HPV Vaccine on Young Girls