Star Parker
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It is the collapse of family and values and the attendant sexual promiscuity that drives the deadly poverty cycle in these communities. So mandating Gardasil vaccine for these girls is to validate a lifestyle that is already killing them in order to address a risk that is among the least of their problems.

There are a host of other reasons to be perplexed by the rush to mandate this vaccine.

This is the most expensive vaccine in history (nine times more expensive than a measles vaccination), the incidence of deaths from cervical cancer are miniscule (.65 percent of the annual deaths from cancer in the U.S.), and the vaccine is only eight months on the market with many legitimate concerns, such as side effects and long-term risks and costs, yet to be clarified.

Organizations such as the Texas Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine oppose mandated use of this vaccine.

How about the particularly strange situation in Texas? Gov. Rick Perry, a conservative Republican governor, was so anxious to mandate Gardasil vaccinations he by-passed his own legislature, much to its consternation, and with practically zero public debate has done this via executive order.

Could the fact that the Governor's ex-chief of staff is Merck's lobbyist in Austin be relevant here? Or maybe that a government mandate would insulate Merck from exposure to future lawsuits from unforeseen problems with the vaccine. Or, possibly the fact that GlaxoSmithKline is close to bringing a competing vaccine to market explains some of the rush.

Merck advertises itself as a company "where patients come first." But if Merck were really placing its patients first it would not be trying to get government to force them to use its product.

It would be obscene to trivialize the 3,700 expected deaths that occur nationwide each year from cervical cancer. But to mandate use of this vaccine would violate rights of parents and children and justify behavior that leads to more death, pain and problems than caused those by cervical cancer.

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Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.