As viruses go, Human Papillomavirus
(HPV) is a particularly successful sexually transmitted disease; it spreads quietly and efficiently, finding abundant opportunity in its stealth. The virus itself is less of an immediate threat than the common cold, however its long-term manipulations on infected human cells makes HPV the lead cause of cervical cancer in women and has linked the virus to mouth, throat and anal cancer in women and men.
There is a vaccine for HPV, meaning there is a vaccine for many devastating cancers.
At the GOP debate in Tampa on Monday, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann criticized Texas Governor Rick Perry for issuing an executive order, over the protests of the Texas legislature, to require the HPV vaccination in girls. While parents could opt out of the vaccination requirement, the issue was elevated quite heatedly across Texas as a parental rights matter. It was also later revealed that Mr. Perry had received considerable donations from the manufacturer of the vaccine.
"The company was Merck, and it was a $5,000 contribution that I had received from them," Perry said, when cornered on the controversy by Bachmann at the Tampa debate, according to a CNN story
. "I raise about $30 million. And if you're saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I'm offended."
But the HPV issue immediately became an uncomfortable one for Michele Bachmann, as the congresswoman was characterized as a Conservative that was challenging mainstream science
, as Minnesota Public Radio described her.
In order to realistically win support from Independent and Moderate Republican voters, the Bachmann campaign was going to have to address her position on the issue.
On Saturday, the Bachmann camp issued a video to clarify the candidate's stance as an opposition to "crony capitalism" and "Perrycare."
"As a mom of three daughters, I believe parents are the ones to decide whether or not our young daughters should receive injections for sexually transmitted diseases," Bachmann said. "I think these are decisions that are best left to parents, to our children, to their doctors. And I think we should take into consideration the child's health and also a family's values. And so whether it's Obamacare or whether it's Perrycare, I oppose any governor for president who mandates a family's healthcare choices and in turn violates the rights of parents on these issues, especially if the decision making process occurs behind closed doors, bypassing legislative action and instead favors campaign contributors over the rights of families."