Haley Vetoes HPV Bill

The move would appear to be a reversal of her previous stand on the issue.

On Tuesday, Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed a bill that would have given all seventh-graders in the state a free vaccine of the Human Papilloma Virus or HPV, which has been linked to cervical cancer.

According to the bill, parents would have been given the ability to opt-out of the injection. The HPV virus is contracted primarily through sexual contact and critics of the vaccine have said that injecting middle-school aged girls with the virus would sexualize them at too young an age.

During the 2012 GOP Presidential Michele Bachmann inaccurately linked the vaccine to mental retardation.

But in a statement quoted in the Charleston Post and Courier (subscription required), Haley did not bring up any health concerns. The bill is a “precursor to another taxpayer-funded health care mandate,” she said.

The bill, sponsored by Bamberg Democrat Bakari Sellers, received bi-partisan support, passing 40-2 in the Senate during debate and 63-40 in the House.

While in the legislature in 2007, Haley co-sponsored a bill that would have mandated the vaccine. 

In a statement to the media after the veto, Sellers said:

“With this veto, Nikki Haley has confirmed everyone’s suspicions that she puts her own selfish political ambitions ahead of the people of South Carolina. This bill had bi-partisan support and gives optional education and preventative vaccines to adolescents in an effort to thwart cervical cancer. This is a common sense approach to a very serious problem. To call this measure unnecessary is demeaning and insulting to the heroic women who fight this cancer everyday. I am deeply disappointed that politics once again has prevailed over women's health.”

The issue may not be dead, however, as the House and Senate have shown a willingness to override Haley's vetoes, as they did last year when she attempted to defund ETV.

Dr. Felix T. Katz June 20, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Also; many women contract HPV from their husbands AFTER they are married. This is because the men are not aware that they are infected. Yes, the vaccine is available for boys/men as well and they should also be vaccinated. This is for the good of whole not the individual. Please get educated about this virus before more young men and women die needlessly!
Heather June 20, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Pauline, South Carolina, I was in elementary school and we stood in lines while a nurse gave us all shots. This was late sixties early seventies. The state must have said do it because I know I saw my entire class get it and not one was left out. My parents did what the government said because most of the time they know whats best for the children who will in the future be voters like I am now. My parents loved Fritz Hollings btw.
DR Feelgood June 20, 2012 at 10:50 PM
The vaccine has no causal associations with adverse events with the exception of syncope ( fainting) . The CDC monitors this through VAERS which is a passive system. The fact is.. this vaccine is controversial because of one issue ..SEX. Parents dont want to admit that their children are or will become sexually active. All should check the latest youth risk behavior survey which shows that SC youth are very engaged in sexual activity before the age of 13. The states tend to take the high road in mandating other vaccines for school entry such as TDAP The HPV vaccine prevents cancers in both sexes . Your daughters may not be sexually active but you cant ever guarantee that when they do choose a partner that the male has had the same standards. I will almost gurantee he wont be vaccinated because male immunization rates havent even reached 2 % for the country.This bill wasnt even mandatin the vaccine in schools It was trying to mandate HPV education. For a vcacine that has been shown to effectively prevent cancers there is so much opoostion based on uneducated fears , myths, assumptions, driven by antivaccine and poltical motives .as a parent, you had the opportunity to get the vaccine and you choose not to have your kids vaccinated,,what if they are one of 10,000 victims of cervical cancer or 5400 victims of anal cancer Their lifetime risk of acquiring HPV is 80%. http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/
Dr. Felix T. Katz June 21, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Thank you Dr. Feelgood. Your information is right on,so well stated and so needed. The governor has,sadly, made a terrible decision for the youth of our state. It's curious that she was for this before she was against it. What changed? My heart goes out to those parents that cannot afford this vaccine for their children.
John H June 21, 2012 at 02:37 AM
The PPACA will cover the HPV vaccine for those that do not currently have insurance along with many insurance carriers that already provide it and under the new law will continue. HSS may mandate that all will be covered anyway. http://www.healthcare.gov/law/resources/regulations/prevention/recommendations.html. If this goes back to the legislature and it is passed over the veto, won’t South Carolina taxpayers be paying for a service that will be covered by insurance at full implementation? Just asking a question.


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