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Rick Perry was wrong on the HPV vaccine

By Scott Tibbs, September 20, 2011

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. -- 1 Corinthians 6:18

Last week, I praised Rick Perry for telling the truth about Social Security and recognizing the need to reform it.

But while Perry is my choice in the race to be the Republican nominee for President, his record is not exactly spotless. Arguably his worst decision was to issue an executive order requiring that pre-teen girls in Texas get a vaccine against the human papillomavirus, which is known to cause cervical cancer.

This was an inexcusable government overreach into the personal lives, health care decisions and parenting decisions of millions of Texas families. Parents should decide for themselves whether or not the HPV vaccine is appropriate for their daughters, rather than have that decision made for them by the governor. The fact that Perry did this via executive order instead of the legislative process adds further insult to this policy.

The HPV vaccine is not equivalent to vaccines against measles or polio, because HPV is a sexually transmitted disease. Our postmodern culture hates judgment and distinctions, so we often try to forget about the ST in STD, but the fact of the matter is that if you do not engage in sexual activity prior to marriage, you choose a spouse who is sexually pure, and you and your spouse are faithful to your marriage vows you have zero chance of contracting HPV.

Many people have legitimate concerns that the HPV vaccine would translate into a license for promiscuity, especially if boys are also vaccinated for the virus so they cannot pass it to their female partners. Sexual immorality is rampant in our nation, and has led to many broken homes, ruined lives and an unacceptable illegitimacy rate. We must be very careful about doing anything that would make people believe it is "safe" to engage in extramarital sex, because it is never safe.

While Perry's decision will cause legitimate concern for many conservatives, the good news is that he is committed to state sovereignty and will not do something this radical should he be elected President of the United States. While I vehemently disagree with Perry's executive order, it does not erode my support for his candidacy.