NACOGDOCHES, Texas, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Vision America President Dr. Rick Scarborough today criticized Texas Governor Rick Perry's decision to order the vaccination of 6th grade girls for the HPV virus, starting in September of 2008. "The governor, perhaps feeling the heat of the outrage of many of his friends, states that his executive order allows for parents to opt out of the program, but there are concerns that doing so will negate their insurance policies. That and other concerns could have been discussed in an open debate, but he has chosen to circumvent the democratic process -- not what we would have expected from a man who has been a friend of family values," Scarborough declared. "At time when increasing numbers of pastors and conservative Christians are becoming politically active in Texas, this unfortunate move by an erstwhile friend is a serious setback." HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can cause genital warts and is considered a risk factor for developing cervical cancer. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, in over 90% of HPV infections, the disease is harmless and goes away without treatment. Moreover, the vaccine, developed by the drug manufacturer Merck, prevents only 4 of the over 30 strains of HPV which are sexually transmitted. Will vaccinations give adolescents a false sense of security? Scarborough notes, "Experts with the American Academy of Pediatrics aren't recommending mandatory HPV vaccination. They believe too little is known about the vaccine's effectiveness or possible side effects." "But Merck -- which stands to make billions from the vaccine -- is very aggressively pushing mandatory vaccination. In Texas alone, families would be forced to pay $360 for a full series of shots. That translates to an annual cost of $58 million for Texas families, not including office visits, for a drug of dubious effectiveness," Scarborough charged. "Nor we can not overlook the moral dimension," Scarborough cautioned. "The governor's action seems to signify that God's moral law regarding sex outside of marriage can be transgressed without consequence." Vision America's president added: "For whatever reason, Governor Perry decided to do this by executive order -- thus by-passing the democratic process, including hearings and an open debate by legislators. One can only speculate that the governor doesn't trust the people and their elected representatives to have a say here." On a personal note, Scarborough disclosed: "I have always liked Rick Perry and consider him a friend. In fact, in 2002, the governor spoke at four Vision America events, meeting with hundreds of pastors all over Texas. That's what makes this Executive Order especially disappointing." Vision America has an online petition calling on Governor Perry to rescind his executive order (at: http://www.visionamerica.us). If he believes the vaccinations are truly necessary, he should propose legislation and open the floor for honest and candid debate. Vision America is dedicated to mobilizing pastors and concerned Christians to defend parental rights and traditional values. Dr. Scarborough, who publishes the weekly electronic newsletter The Rick Scarborough Report, is also the author of several books and booklets, including "Liberalism Kills Kids," in 2006, now in its second printing. For more information on Vision America, go to http://www.visionamerica.us. To schedule an interview with Dr. Scarborough, contact Don Feder at (508) 405-1337.
SOURCE Vision America