Senate Nixes Gov. Perry's HPV Mandate, East Texans React - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/24/2007-Tyler

Senate Nixes Gov. Perry's HPV Mandate, East Texans React

The Texas Senate just approved a bill, barring health officials from following Governor Perry's order, to make the HPV vaccine a requirement.

East Texas Senator Kevin Eltife has been an outspoken critic against the mandate.  "I think the issue really is that an executive order is for emergencies and I don't think anybody in the legislature believes the HPV is an emergency. It should go through the legislative process. We should have public hearings parents, doctors, everybody should have input. Then we can make a decision."

If the bill is approved by the House, it would make the vaccine voluntary for parents to choose if their daughter should have it.

East Texas parents and doctors explain what this decision means for them:

Amy Isaksen-Fudge said she knows first hand about HPV. She said she's had cervical cancer at age 19.

"I was in the hospital it went to stage-three. So, I didn't know if I would ever be able to have children, " said Isaksen-Fudge, "if I had had the virus that vaccine I might not have had it. I don't know if I would have done it myself at that age"

She's not alone.

Michael Haney, another East Texas parent who agrees the HPV vaccine should be optional said, "I don't think it should be mandated. Everything is mandated around here. That's what I'm against. I think any good parent will have a good doctor and is going to take care of your child."

Dr. James Muse of Tyler OB/GYN said,  "Even if it's not mandated it is important. Almost any gynecologist, pediatrician, and family practitioner is going to strongly recommend that parents look at this for their children," said Muse.

He suggests the vaccine for all females between the ages of nine and twenty six.  "The sooner they get vaccinated the more likely they are to be protected against this in the future.  This is as important as the polio vaccine and any other vaccine we have seen through the years. If given properly will eradicate this disease in the future."

 For Amy, a vaccine would have probably been enough.

"Prepare yourself, equip yourself, know the facts and be able to have a conversation with your kids about it both female and male," said Isaksen-Fudge

Next, the Senate and the House must agree on a version of the bill to send to Governor Perry who is expected to veto it. It will then take a two thirds majority of the legislature to override the veto.

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

 

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