New California Law Limits Parents’ Input Into Their 12 Year Old Girls’ Gardasil® Vaccinations


Ed Silverman at Pharmalot has the story — do go read his comprehensive narrative on the history of this astro-turfed initiative. I suppose one of the interest groups will now mount a challenge in the courts, making a persuasive argument that the free exercise clause of the First Amendment, and the parental personal liberty interests (embedded-by-inference) in the Fourteenth Amendment prohibit the state from applying this Gardasil®-benefitting measure against parents in California. We shall see.

Here is a bit from Pharmalot — do go read it all:

. . . .Following months of controversy, California Governor Jerry Brown late last week signed into law a bill that removes parental consent for vaccinating children 12 and older against sexually transmitted diseases. Although state law already allows children 12 and older to consent to treatment for sexually transmitted diseases without parental involvement, the new law expands that right to immunizations. . . [like Merck’s Gardasil.]

“By signing AB 499 to coerce minors into risky Gardasil shots, Jerry Brown is deceptively telling preteen girls it will protect them from HPV, giving them a false sense of security that they can have all the sexual activity they want without risking developing cervical cancer or a raft of other negative consequences,” says Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com. . . .

While I do see the case for the other side of the question, I think 12 years of age is just too young to remove the parents’ right to consent to sexually-transmitted disease vaccinations. Gardasil is generally well-tolerated, but because the side effects (when it is not) can be life-long, a mature mind is needed to balance that perhaps small, but real, risk — against the protection from only some of the strains of HPV that can cause cervical cancers. We will keep you posted.

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