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Thread: The HPV Vaccine Issue: An ideological contradiction emphasized by Michelle Bachmann

  1. #1
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    Default The HPV Vaccine Issue: An ideological contradiction emphasized by Michelle Bachmann

    At the CNN/Tea Party Republican Presidential Debate, former Texas Governor Rick Perry was scrutinized by Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum over his 2007 executive order that mandates that teenage girls receive the HPV vaccine.

    In case you do not remember this part of the debate, here is a report from the New York Times on the matter:


    In Republican Race, a Heated Battle Over the HPV Vaccine

    By TRIP GABRIEL and DENISE GRADY


    An unlikely issue — whether to vaccinate preadolescent girls against a sexually transmitted virus — has become the latest flashpoint among Republican presidential candidates as they vie for the support of social conservatives and Tea Party members.

    The issue exploded Monday night when Representative Michele Bachmann and former Senator Rick Santorum attacked Gov. Rick Perry of Texas during a debate for issuing an executive order requiring sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, criticizing the order as an overreach of state power in a decision properly left to parents. Later, Sarah Palin, who has yet to announce her 2012 intentions, also found fault with Mr. Perry.

    The issue pushes many buttons with conservatives: overreach of government in health care decisions, suspicion that sex education leads to promiscuity and even the belief — debunked by science — that childhood vaccinations may be linked to mental disorders.

    On Tuesday, Mrs. Bachmann of Minnesota raised that concern by suggesting Mr. Perry had put young girls at risk by forcing “an injection of what could potentially be a very dangerous drug.” Appearing on NBC’s “Today” show, she recounted that after the debate in Tampa, Fla., a tearful mother approached and said her daughter had suffered “mental retardation” after being vaccinated against HPV. “It can have very dangerous side effects,” Mrs. Bachmann said.

    The focus on Mr. Perry’s record on the issue put him on the defensive during a debate for the second week in a row, this time among his core constituency of Tea Party voters.

    “It’s the perfect storm of an issue,” said Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Republican Party of Iowa, noting that Mr. Perry, the front-runner in recent polls, was being attacked from his right flank. “You could tell these blows landed and affected him.”

    Although Mrs. Bachmann called the HPV vaccine dangerous, a report last month from the Institute of Medicine, which advises the government, found that it was generally safe. There is no evidence linking it to mental retardation.

    The vaccine is strongly recommended by medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Cancer Society, to prevent cervical cancer, which kills about 4,000 women in the United States annually.

    The recommended age of vaccination for girls is 11 or 12, before they become sexually active. But only Virginia and the District of Columbia require vaccination for middle school entry, according to the cancer society.

    Dr. Deborah Saslow, the group’s director of breast and gynecological cancer, said it did not advocate requiring HPV vaccinations before entering middle school, since parents and even doctors need more time to get used to the idea of the vaccine and to accept that it is safe.

    When Mr. Perry issued his executive order in 2007, he made Texas the first state to require vaccinations, although parents could opt out. The order was instantly controversial — the State Legislature overturned it by bipartisan majorities before it could be carried out — and criticisms were raised at the time that Mr. Perry was doing a favor for a former chief of staff, Mike Toomey, who was then a lobbyist for Merck, the maker of the first HPV vaccine on the market, Gardasil.

    Merck was lobbying legislatures around the country at the time to require Gardasil for middle school girls, but amid criticism — led by conservative groups worried that it would promote early sex — the company withdrew the campaign.

    Mrs. Bachmann, whose campaign had lost the wind in its sails ever since Mr. Perry entered the nomination race last month, used Monday night’s debate to accuse the governor of what she later called “crony capitalism” because of his ties to Mr. Toomey and Merck, which donated to his campaign. Ms. Palin echoed those charges on Fox News.

    Mr. Perry, who said during the debate that he should have worked with the Texas Legislature, not issued an executive fiat, dismissed any suggestion that he could be bought for a mere $5,000 contribution (records show he actually received $30,000 from Merck).

    A spokesman for Mr. Perry, Mark Miner, called Mrs. Bachmann’s and others’ comments “ridiculous.”

    “You’re going to have candidates grasping for straws and grasping to get attention,” Mr. Miner said. “However Governor Perry will continue focusing on issues that matter to people such as creating jobs and improving the economy.”

    Mrs. Bachmann said she would continue to raise the vaccine issue because it shows “very real distinctions” between herself and Mr. Perry.

    Republican strategists also said that the issue was unlikely to go away, and that Mr. Perry’s actions in 2007 raised questions not only among social conservatives, but with party members and independents who would find it an overreach of executive authority.

    “I think it undercuts Governor Perry’s ability to criticize Governor Romney on health care,” said Steve Duprey, the Republican national committeeman for New Hampshire, referring to Mr. Romney’s support of an individual mandate in Massachusetts. “We’re a state that takes a dim view on the government compelling us to do anything.”

    Mrs. Bachmann’s suggestion that HPV vaccines could be dangerous caused some influential conservative bloggers and broadcasters to suggest that she had carried the attack too far, raising questions about her judgment in echoing the thoroughly debunked views that vaccines are linked to autism or other mental illness.

    Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday said she “may have jumped the shark” with her linking of HPV vaccines to mental retardation.

    Appearing on the talk show of another conservative host, Sean Hannity, Mrs. Bachmann backpedaled a bit. “I am not a doctor, I am not a scientist, I’m not a physician,” she said.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/us...gewanted=print

    One of the interesting things I noticed on Michelle Bachmann's attack towards Rick Perry was that she took up a stance that was pro-choice on a social issue. What is suprising about this stance in the context of conservative principles is that usually, conservatives have stances that are not in favor of choice on social issues, especially when you consider the generalized stance that conservatives have on abortion, which is pro-life and anti-abortion, thus anti-choice. The question that I ask is how is it ideologically consistent to be against choice on a social issue such as abortion, yet pro-choice on an issue such as vaccines? From my perspective, it seems like a contradiction.

    This is not an attack against Michelle Bachmann or a thread supporting Rick Perry, but more of a political science-based thread.
    Last edited by thediplomat2.0; Sep 14 2011 at 10:39 AM.

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  3. Default

    Conservatives are just plain evil.
    "They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness" (Ps. lxxxii. 5). Truth, in spite of all its powerful manifestations, is completely withheld from them, and the following words of Scripture may be applied to them, "And now men see not the light which is bright in the skies" (Job xxxvii. 21). They are the multitude of ordinary men: there is no need to notice them in this treatise.

    :- Maimonides.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    Conservatives are just plain evil.
    I don't consider Conservatives evil, just ideologically, politically, and rhetorical different. I respect what they have to say, although I may not agree with it, and, like all politicians, and political constituents, stretch the truth and play on the concept of political power, which involves emotional and opinion-based manipulation.

  5. Default

    The state has required vaccination of children for at least 100 years.

    Prior to childhood vaccinations, most children did not live to grow up. Look at Lincoln, who had four sons and only one of them lived to adulthood. This was typical for that day.

    People who oppose state mandated vaccinations have no idea how catastrophic that idea is.

    Perry's goal was to prevent women from getting cervical cancer. I think it's ridiculous to attack him on this issue.
    Last edited by Blackrook; Sep 14 2011 at 03:26 PM.

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    In 1902, following a smallpox outbreak, the board of health of the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, mandated all city residents to be vaccinated against smallpox. City resident Henning Jacobson refused vaccination on the grounds that the law violated his right to care for his own body how he knew best. In turn, the city filed criminal charges against him. After losing his court battle locally, Jacobson appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1905 the Court found in the state’s favor, ruling that the state could enact compulsory laws to protect the public in the event of a communicable disease. This was the first U.S. Supreme Court case concerning the power of states in public health law.
    http://www.historyofvaccines.org/con...tion-movements

  8. #6

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    Perry may have implimented the HPV vaccine programs clumsily, but he was correct in attempting it.

    Bachmann shows her true hypocritical colors in her attack on Perry at the Tea Party debate. Bachmann tried to present herself as a representative of "mothers" speaking for young girls. That is "identity politics" which should be anathema to a conservative Republican as Bachmann claims to be.
    To Boldly Go

  9. Icon17

    Oh, well in dat case, Uncle Ferd all for it...

    HPV Vaccine Doesn’t Alter Sexual Behavior, Study Finds
    October 15, 2012, Coni Butler, an accountant in Austin, Tex., and a devout Catholic, encourages her three children to remain celibate before marriage. But that did not stop her from getting them vaccinated against human papillomavirus, or HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that raises the risk of some cancers.
    Ms. Butler had her son and two daughters vaccinated between ages 12 and 15. She was not deterred by widespread concerns that the vaccine might encourage promiscuity. “We talk about remaining chaste until they get married, but there’s always the possibility that one bad choice could lead to devastating consequences,” she said. “I tell my friends that you pray for the best, but you plan for the worst.” Since public health officials began recommending in 2006 that young women be routinely vaccinated against HPV, many parents have hesitated over fears that doing so might give their children license to have sex. But research published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics may help ease those fears.

    Looking at a sample of nearly 1,400 girls, the researchers found no evidence that those who were vaccinated beginning around age 11 went on to engage in more sexual activity than girls who were not vaccinated. “We’re hopeful that once physicians see this, it will give them evidence that they can give to parents,” said Robert A. Bednarczyk, the lead author of the report and a clinical investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research Southeast, in Atlanta. “Hopefully when parents see this, it’ll be reassuring to them and we can start to overcome this barrier.” HPV, the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States, can cause cancers of the cervix, anus and parts of the throat. Federal health officials began recommending in 2006 that girls be vaccinated as early as age 11 and last year made a similar recommendation for preadolescent boys. The idea is to immunize boys and girls before they become sexually active to maximize the vaccine’s protective effects.

    According to research, nearly a third of children 14 to 19 years old are infected with HPV. But despite the federal recommendations, vaccination rates around the country remain low, in part because of concerns about side effects as well as fears the vaccine could make adolescents less wary of casual sex. In one study of parental attitudes toward the vaccine, Yale researchers found that concern about promiscuity was the single biggest factor in the decision not to vaccinate. (A report last year from the Institute of Medicine, which advises the government, found that that the HPV vaccine was generally safe.) While there have been studies suggesting that the vaccine does not lower inhibitions in girls who receive it, most of them were based on self-reporting, which is not very reliable. So Dr. Bednarczyk and his colleagues looked instead at medical data collected by a large managed care organization.

    They selected a group of 1,398 girls who were 11 or 12 in 2006 — roughly a third of whom had received the HPV vaccine — and followed them through 2010. The researchers then looked at what they considered markers of sexual activity, including pregnancies, counseling on contraceptives, and testing for or diagnoses of sexually transmitted diseases. Over all, in the time that the girls were followed, the researchers did not find any differences in these measures between the two groups.

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    So here is my suggestion: Forget bombs -- we should drop Obama administration policy makers on Iraq and Syria. That would ensure the ruin of the Islamic State in no time!

  10. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackrook View Post
    The state has required vaccination of children for at least 100 years.

    Prior to childhood vaccinations, most children did not live to grow up. Look at Lincoln, who had four sons and only one of them lived to adulthood. This was typical for that day.

    People who oppose state mandated vaccinations have no idea how catastrophic that idea is.

    Perry's goal was to prevent women from getting cervical cancer. I think it's ridiculous to attack him on this issue.
    I'd have to agree.
    "Chaos... isn't a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them.
    And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love. Illusions.
    Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is."

  11. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by thediplomat2.0 View Post
    At the CNN/Tea Party Republican Presidential Debate, former Texas Governor Rick Perry was scrutinized by Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum over his 2007 executive order that mandates that teenage girls receive the HPV vaccine.

    In case you do not remember this part of the debate, here is a report from the New York Times on the matter:



    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/us...gewanted=print

    One of the interesting things I noticed on Michelle Bachmann's attack towards Rick Perry was that she took up a stance that was pro-choice on a social issue. What is suprising about this stance in the context of conservative principles is that usually, conservatives have stances that are not in favor of choice on social issues, especially when you consider the generalized stance that conservatives have on abortion, which is pro-life and anti-abortion, thus anti-choice. The question that I ask is how is it ideologically consistent to be against choice on a social issue such as abortion, yet pro-choice on an issue such as vaccines? From my perspective, it seems like a contradiction.

    This is not an attack against Michelle Bachmann or a thread supporting Rick Perry, but more of a political science-based thread.
    On the other hand, a lot of liberals are anti-choice on things like guns.

    Libertarians are more consistently "pro-choice" on most social issues, although apparently, even a lot of libertarians are pro-life.

    The logic usually behind this is that they are defending the rights of the unborn against the rights of the mother, but the problem with that logic when taken to the extreme is that it requires much more state intervention and ultimately much more government spending.
    "Chaos... isn't a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them.
    And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love. Illusions.
    Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is."

  12. Default

    I don't know a single Republican including some (small in number) Bachman supporters that agreed with what she said. You will also recall that the committed political suicide with that exact statement. If the belief that vaccinations should be voluntary was so prevalent then how come her ratings tanked right after that?

    Also, what the hell does abortion have anything to do with a vaccine? They are completely different topics.

    Libertarians can be either pro-choice or pro-life. The distinction is that unlike liberals and some conservatives we believe that each state should determine if abortion should be legal through the legislature or referendum and not the courts.
    Last edited by reallybigjohnson; Oct 15 2012 at 09:24 PM.

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