February 3, 2007
Executive Order: Gardasil Mandatory in Texas
Texas Governor Rick Perry has issued an executive order making Merck's cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil, mandatory for all girls entering the 6th grade beginning in September 2008.
Perry bypassed the Texas state Legislature and ignored vocal opposition by parents throughout the state.
The AP is reporting that Perry has deep ties with Merck:
Perry has several ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company's three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, his former chief of staff. His current chief of staff's mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government ... Perry also received $6,000 from Merck's political action committee during his re-election campaign.
Bravo to the AP for putting Gov. Perry's Merck ties out there. It is completely unethical that somebody with ties to a drug company would make an executive order that all girls should receive that company's vaccine. Why not let the bill go through the Legislature? What's the rush?
This kind of thing should be illegal in the United States. When it comes to our health, no government official should have the right to make an "executive order" that favors a corporation over the people.