The human papilloma virus is the most common sexually transmitted disease. A new study out yesterday finds more than a third of American women are infected before they are 24. Some HPV strains lead to cervical cancer, and cervical cancer can kill. But when Texas governor Rick Perry recently mandated that all Texas middle school girls get a new vaccine against HPV, he hit a buzz saw.
The vaccine's maker, Merck, was a big contributor to Perry: some saw a payoff. Some saw a license for sexual promiscuity. Some saw government intervention in a family affair. But doctors say it's an important vaccine. Now many states are weighing a mandate.
Arlene Weintraub, Associate Editor for Science and Technology for Business Week Magazine
Edward Hernandez, Freshman Democratic state assemblyman for the 57th District
Dr. Lois Ramondetta, Associate Professor of Gynaecologic Oncology at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Dr. Louis Cooper, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at Columbia University & member of the steering committee of the National Network for Immunization Information & past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Karen Morgan, Democratic representative to the Utah State Legislature and Vice Chair of the group "Women in Government," a bipartisan, non-profit group made up of women state legislators.
This program aired on February 28, 2007.