Rick Perry Law Led To Rise In Parents Opting Out Of Vaccines
WASHINGTON — Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has stayed relatively quiet during the latest outbreak of potential 2016 presidential contenders stumbling on vaccination policy, even though he has perhaps the most interesting history on the issue.
In 2007, Perry became the first governor in the U.S. to require young women to get vaccinated against a sexually transmitted disease that can lead to cervical cancer. The move ignited a firestorm among some conservatives — who claimed the vaccine would promote promiscuity — and Perry eventually backtracked and called what he did “a mistake.”
But in 2003, Perry severely undercut the public health community’s push to increase the vaccination rate by signing into law a measure that made it easier for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children. The bill received less national attention than what he did in 2007, but Texas is still feeling the ramifications today.