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Wednesday, April 04, 2007
(5:45 PM) | Stephen:
Bad Move, Governor Richardson

For a man so enamored of his own ability to lead rather than follow and to buck powerful interests to do what's right, this is a shockingly weak and poorly thought-out move.

It is entirely appropriate to have a debate about whether vaccinating girls against HPV should be mandatory. As the linked article notes, there have been cases of reactions - as with all vaccines - and any new treatment should be carefully considered before making it a mandatory vaccine for school enrollment.

But Richardson already said he would sign the bill. He's already had his time to consider it and to worry that it doesn't give enough time to "educate" parents about the vaccine. Of course, what really happened is a bunch of people started raising hell about 10-year-old girls voluntarily becoming prostitutes simply because they would have immunity from HPV.

This is a vaccine, one of many that are given to children all throughout their school years. We already have laws against sexual contact between 5th grade girls and anybody. Further, no one is going to decide to start having sex just because they are immune to one of the many STD's it is possible to contract.

No, the problem that parents are having is the way in which this vaccine takes away one piece of ammunition in their arsenal of scare tactics. Rather than address issues of sexuality head-on and be responsible about it, they apparently would rather pull out their chest full of boogeymen in an effort to have their daughters avoid the subject and the activity entirely.

My daughter is getting vaccinated, and if they work it out for boys, then my son will also. I could say that it's because I want her to be as safe as possible no matter what choices she makes later in life. But the simpler way to put this is that I will give my daughter this vaccine because I'm not stupid.

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