More Legislator comment on the HPV Vaccine
I see a few of the legislators around the state are reacting to the HPV issue. Check out what was said in the Yankton paper:
District 19 Rep. Gary Jerke (R-Tripp) expressed concerns about the message that is being sent with the vaccination of young girls for a virus that can be spread by sexual activity.
"It makes me nervous that we don't have a corresponding emphasis on abstinence or those things that would discourage (sexual activity)," Jerke said. "To me, this makes a statement that the state endorses that type of lifestyle, of sexual promiscuity. What is the message that we as a state are sending, to make a drug available to 11-year-old girls and not, at a minimum, provide any other emphasis?"
District 18 Rep. Garry Moore (D-Yankton) disagreed, looking at the vaccination as a health issue and not as sending the wrong moral message.
"The governor said it best, that ... there is still a need to talk about abstinence,"
said. "Anybody who thinks, if you go out and get this vaccination that you are promiscuous -- that is a misnomer. I don't think that's fair at all." Moore
said he hopes as many young women as possible receive the vaccine. Moore
"Anytime you have the ability to be vaccinated, you should take that opportunity," he said. "We want people to remember, the government is not mandating this, they are just going to make it available to those who wish to have the vaccination."
"Anytime you have the vaccination, and it's voluntary in nature, I absolutely applaud a program like that," he added.
District 17 Rep. Jamie Boomgarden (R-Chancellor) predicted the availability of the vaccine, and the threat of HPV and cervical cancer, would stimulate frank discussions among families.
"If the vaccine becomes available, young adults and parents need to discuss getting it. I guess, as long as (the vaccine is) an option, it's probably the way to go," he said of the proposal. "As far as sexual activity, I don't think (Rounds' proposal is) sending a wrong message. But parents need to be talking with their young kids. ... Hopefully, it will open up dialogue and open up the knowledge that kids as young as 11 are sexually active out there."
District 18 Rep. Charlii Gilson (R-Yankton) said she had previously known about the cancer threat.
"My sister is a pathologist specializing in female cancers, and she has told me a long time ago that most cervical cancers are caused by this HPV, so I think this vaccine is wonderful," she said.
"If we prevent 20 cases of cancer, it's worth it. Think of the health care costs to treat one case. Most of the time, when these young girls get cancer, the outcome is not good."
District 19 Sen. Frank Kloucek (D-Scotland) said constituents had asked him to submit legislation on the issue, but he will now defer to the governor's proposal.
Read it all here. (free subscription required).