Contact: Stacey Holliday, Concerned Women for America, 202-488-7000 ext. 126
WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 /Christian Newswire/ -- Reeling from criticism, Merck announced that it will suspend its campaign for laws mandating that girls be injected with its vaccine for HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that can lead to cervical cancer. Concerned Women for America (CWA) President Wendy Wright notes, "Merck's decision does not end this controversy, since politicians have grabbed the baton of pushing for state mandates. Merck built the machine, and now it is running on its own." While CWA does not oppose the availability of the vaccine, it does oppose mandates that coerce parents to inject their little girls with it.
"Mandating the HPV vaccine is an overreach," said Wright. "The last time Merck was in the news was for Vioxx, which appeared safe in trials but later showed serious health hazards. Vioxx was given only with a prescription to select patients. Mandates for the HPV vaccine would require every girl, even those with undiagnosed conditions, to take it. Merck is not liable for possible complications due to the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act which exempts vaccine makers from responsibility for medical complications.
"Cervical cancer has decreased 74 percent since the Pap test was introduced. Mandating the vaccine circumvents the necessary education campaign to explain that HPV is preventable by responsible sexual behavior (abstinence outside marriage and faithfulness in marriage), that it will not prevent most forms of sexually transmitted diseases, that HPV is contracted only through intimate sexual contact (unlike other diseases prevented by mandated vaccines, such as measles, mumps and polio) and regular Pap tests are still necessary. A sexually responsible woman can choose to get the vaccine prior to marriage if her husband may carry HPV.
"In the past two decades, the number of mandated vaccines for children has doubled. Also increased are cases of autism, asthma, diabetes and learning disabilities among children. It is unclear if there is a connection, but there is enough concern that another vaccine should not be mandated without further research. Parents know and care more about their children than government officials, so the decision should rest with them on whether to vaccinate their daughters for a disease that is caused by sexual contact," concluded Wright.
Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.