I have my problems with Rick Perry, current candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, but all this nonsense about the HPV vaccinations is a bunch of crap. It has been a line of attack from Michele "Don't Look Directly Into My Eyes" Bachmann who apparently is going all Jenny McCarthy now with her screed against vaccinations in general.
Apparently, his initiative in Texas to have girls as young as 12 vaccinated (or is it innoculated? I'm no doctor, but then neither is Michele Bachmann or her "Heal the Gay Out of You" husband) for the HPV virus, allowing parents who are just fine with their precious snowflakes catching the disease to opt out. HPV is very common--about half of all people who have had sex are carriers, and among women it can lead to cervical cancer and among both genders it can lead to oral cancers. So of course the religious nuts and assorted kooks oppose such measures.
Let's assume for a minute that children brought up in super-religious homes will adhere to abstinence education and proper family values, just like Bristol Palin did until she met a handsome pile of white trash who could grow his own mullet, but let's not dwell on the mentally limited Palins. So some day your precious snowflake daughter who of course would never have sexual contact with a boy grows to the ripe age of 18 and decides to marry a nice young man from a good fambly who doesn't play hockey but instead something wholesome like lacrosse, and then whoops, turns out this nice young man had a bit of a lapse on a weekend away from Oral Roberts University! And while doing a line of coke off the back of a naked hooker, he managed to also have sex with a coed who does not share his relgious values! And now, he got HPV, and when he does his married duties (only to conceive children, of course), he gives HPV to your daughter.
But hey, this could never happen, because we live in a world where abstinence education works, we can reasonably deport all illegal aliens, and we can pray away a heavy rainstorm. But let's not add rationality into a GOP primary debate!
Here's where it crosses the line from "stupid people suffering from their own stupid choices" to "stupid people making things worse for everyone else". Even with some opt-outs, vaccinations reaching a large enough percentage of the population would be enough to wipe out the disease, because it can only survive if it can be passed from host to host--and with enough people vaccinated it can be contained permanently. The Texas initiative made sense, and could have helped kill off a widespread virus that carries effects ranging from the uncomfortable (warts, etc.) to the lethal (cancers). And the deluded Bachmann's of the world can't live with that, since it would somehow encourage 12 year old girls to slut it up.
After all, nothing encourages a kid to want to go have sex like getting jabbed with a needle.