Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection, currently affecting more than 79 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, the rate of cancers caused by HPV has soared in recent years.
So when Merck announced that it had a created a drug that could prevent some 70 percent of cervical cancers from developing, you would think Americans would rejoice. Ultimately, the order was vetoed by the legislature.
Earlier this year, 24 states were contemplating making Gardasil—as the cervical-cancer vaccine is known—a mandatory vaccination for young women.
Today, only one state, Virginia, has such a law, and it leaves a loophole for parents to opt out.
Last year, when he was asked whether the order had been a mistake, he answered, "No, Sir." "That issue was about being pro-life," Perry insisted.
"I'm about pro-life." Last month, kicking off his presidential campaign, Perry finally conceded that he should have engaged Texans on the HPV question instead of imposing his will unilaterally.