January 22, 2013 — A South Carolina lawmaker plans to introduce legislation (H 3236) that would improve middle school students' access to information about the human papillomavirus vaccine and to the vaccine itself, WCIV reports (Jacobson, WCIV, 1/14).
Gov. Nikki Haley (R) last year vetoed an identical bill (H 4497), calling it an "unfunded mandate." She said the issue of HPV vaccination should be discussed by parents, children and their doctor without the government being involved.
Rep. Bakari Sellers (D), who proposed the bill, said it aims to improve access, not to take the vaccination decision away from parents (AP/WCBD, 1/14).
The bill would permit the state Department of Health and Environmental Control to make educational materials about the HPV vaccine available to seventh graders. The bill would also allow the department to make the vaccine itself available through public schools.
Sellers noted that CDC recently found that South Carolina spends more than $25 million on cervical cancer, which is largely caused by HPV (WCIV, 1/14).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
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Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
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