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Rick Perry backs away from HPV vaccine decision during presidential run

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Dan Eggen
Washington Post
Sept 13, 2011

Religious conservatives in Texas were stunned in 2007 when Republican Rick Perry became the first governor in the country to order young girls to get a vaccine against a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer.

The vaccine would encourage promiscuity, according to many conservatives, who had long supported Perry’s views against abortion and same-sex marriage.

It soon emerged that Perry was close to one of the lobbyists who was pushing for the order and who worked for the vaccine’s New Jersey-based manufacturer. That lobbyist, Mike Toomey, had served as Perry’s chief of staff and has since helped found a super PAC aimed at boosting Perry’s bid for the presidency.

Perry, who long defended the vaccine mandate, reversed his position on the issue as he launched his GOP presidential bid, calling the order “a mistake” and saying he agrees with the Texas legislature’s decision to overturn it.

“The fact of the matter is that I didn’t do my research well enough to understand that we needed to have a substantial conversation with our citizenry,” Perry told reporters on the campaign trail in August.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 10:17 am





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