Gingrey introduces legislation giving parents and doctors – NOT legislators – control over student HPV vaccinations

Legislation would help reverse state trend of mandated vaccination

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Washington, Feb 16, 2007 | Becky Ruby ((202) 225-2931) | comments
U.S. Congressman Phil Gingrey, M.D. today introduced the Parental Right to Decide Protection Act, legislation that prohibits federal funds from being used to implement mandatory state human-papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programs.   As HPV is a sexually-transmitted disease and not a communicable health concern, mandatory vaccination oversteps the government’s role and overrides the decisions of patients, parents and physicians.  Since the FDA’s approval of an HPV vaccine, at least 22 state legislatures have introduced bills to make the vaccination mandatory for sixth-grade girls attending school. 

“As an OB-GYN physician, I understand the importance of protecting Americans from sexually transmitted diseases, and I applaud the development of an HPV vaccine,” said Gingrey.  “But for states to mandate vaccination for young women is both unprecedented and unacceptable.  States should require vaccinations for communicable diseases, like measles and the mumps. But you can’t catch HPV if an infected schoolmate coughs on you or shares your juice box at lunch. Whether or not girls get vaccinated against HPV is a decision for parents and physicians, not state governments.”

The Parental Right to Decide Protection Act would prohibit all federal funds from supporting mandatory HPV vaccination programs. The legislation does NOT prohibit federal funds from supporting optional vaccination programs, and any state with an optional program could use Medicaid and education dollars to provide vaccinations to students.
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