An HPV vaccine bill that would allow minors to get an HPV vaccine without parental consent is gaining momentum and could become a reality in California if Governor Brown signs it. Sponsored by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, AB 499 is controversial from both a parents' rights and fiscal standpoint.
HPV Vaccine and Parents' Rights
The HPV vaccine protects against Human Papillomavirus, the world's most prevalent STD and the cause of several types cervical cancer. Designed for teenage girls, the vaccine has been in use for about five years, and while deemed relatively safe, its long-term effects have not been studied sufficiently. Of the 35 million doses administered in the past five years, there have been 18,000 reports of adverse side effects and 100 deaths.
Imagine a 13-year-old girl going to the doctor for a simple vaccine and winding up dead. Then, imagine that she went behind her parents' back to receive the HPV vaccine, without their knowledge or consent. This scenario is devastating and heartbreaking. It's completely inappropriate to administer this type of vaccine to a minor without parental consent, and the HPV vaccine bill is a huge infringement of parental rights.
The video below argues the wisdome of the HPV vaccine bill from two sides. Mark Blaxill, the author of "Age of Autism" is concerned about federal bureaucracies making decisions for parents. On the other side, Lisa Fayed, a health journalist and patient advocate argues that teens are already getting birth control and abortions without parental consent. She said that teens die from abortion procedures regularly enough to cause concern, but they are still able to get the procedures done without adult knowledge. She equates this to receiving an HPV vaccine.
When the reporter asks the obvious question, "Shouldn't parents know when their children are about to receive a medical treatment that could kill them?" Lisa conveniently pretends to not hear the question so she can have time think and formulate an answer that doesn't make her sound like a complete idiot. This entertaining moment can be seen at the 1 minute 35 second point of the video.
Fiscal Responsibility of the HPV Vaccine Bill
A second concern around AB 499 is a financial one. If a minor receives the Cervarix or Gardisil vaccine without parental consent, parents cannot be charged for the cost of the vaccination treatment. This means that taxpayers are picking up the bill. The HPV vaccine requires a series of three shots, each ranging from $300 to $500 a piece. The numbers add up quickly.
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