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The Truth: CNN Republican Debate

By Donna Garner

I finally finished watching the CNN Republican Presidential debate (9.5.11) which was actually quite well done. Wolf Blitzer did a good job of keeping the debate moving, and his questions and comments seemed fair to all participants.

Because we live in Texas and Gov. Rick Perry is one of the Republican Presidential candidates, I know people across the country want to know the back-story on various issues about him. 

First, let me make it very clear that Gov. Perry would be worlds better than the person who is in the White House presently. I believe Gov. Perry to be a good person who has years of executive experience, and he has done some great things for our state.  If he wins the Republican primaries, my family and I will commit as much energy as possible to help him get elected to the Presidency. 

I would like to clarify a few points that came up during the debate, however.  


In 2001, Gov. Perry signed HB 1403 that allows illegals to attend Texas colleges and universities at in-state tuition rates. The illegals must have graduated from a Texas high school and must have lived in our state for at least three years. 

Yes, these illegal’s must sign an affidavit swearing that they intend to apply for permanent residency as soon as possible; but here is the catch:  Nobody is officially charged with making sure these illegal’s are carrying through on their sworn promises of seeking legal residency. 

At one point in a prior debate, Gov. Perry said that the Texas Education Agency was doing the verification; but then a spokesperson from the Agency made it clear that their job is to oversee only primary and secondary public schools — not students who are in colleges/universities. 

Then when Texas college admission officials were asked if they do the verification duties, the higher-end officials said they do not check to see that these illegal’s are pursuing permanent residency because there is nothing in HB 1403 that requires them to do so.   

Bottom line:  “Nobody is minding the store.”  

The sad thing is that there is a limited number of incoming students who can be admitted to some of our Texas universities.  If an illegal wins admittance and the limit is maxed out, then a legal who applies is denied admittance. 

In 2003, the state of Oklahoma passed a similar law to that of the one passed in Texas; however, Oklahoma repealed it because as Oklahoma State Rep. Randy Terrill said,  “States ought not to be in the business of subsidizing illegal aliens…Every one dollar you make available to an illegal immigrant is one dollar you are not giving to one of your citizens. To grant illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates directly discriminates against non-resident U.S. citizens from surrounding states. That is a direct violation of the equal protection clause.” (MarylandReporter.com, 4.6.11) 


Several candidates in the CNN debate mentioned the “opt-out” form that Gov. Perry included in his mandate for all public school sixth-grade girls to be given the HPV vaccine.  At the time, Gardasil produced by Merck was the only HPV vaccine available. 

An opt-out form in contrast to an opt-in form is a very different document.   

Having been a classroom teacher for 33+ years, I know that most students along with their parents will not take the time to file an opt-out form because they listen and believe the liberal news media that tells them about “safe sex” methods, including the HPV vaccine.

I worked as a researcher/writer for Scott & White Worth the Wait (an abstinence-only sex education program) for several years.  Most everyone in the sex education community knows the advantages and disadvantages ofopt-in and opt-out forms.  So did Gov. Perry/Merck/Gardasil back in 2007. 

If school districts want to teach contraceptive education, they almost always require an opt-out form to be signed. This means that if parents want to keep their children from being taught contraceptive use, the parents must take the time and make the effort to sign and return the opt-out form.  Since most parents won’t take the time and make the effort to sign an opt-out form, students are automatically kept in the room when contraceptives are taught which is what liberal school authorities actually want. 

Since Perry/Merck/Gardasil wanted young girls to get the vaccine, Perry/Merck/Gardasil required parents to sign an opt-out form knowing full well that most parents would not take the time and make the effort to sign an opt-out form.  Thus, most young girls would have received the Gardasil vaccine which was the true intent of the opt-out form.  

In contrast, if Perry/Merck/Gardasil had required an opt-in form to be signed, then no girls would have been allowed to receive the vaccine unless their parents had intentionally taken the time and made the effort to sign a form giving the school permission.  

The end result of an opt-in mandate would have been that few parents would have signed an opt-in form, and few girls would have received the HPV vaccine.   

This was evidently not the result that Perry/Merck/Gardasil desired, and that is the reason why Gov. Perry’s mandate included a parental opt-out form instead of an opt-in form. 


Here is the article that I sent out widely several days after Gov. Perry signed his executive order in February 2007 mandating that sixth-grade girls be vaccinated with the HPV vaccine. 

Here is the article that I sent out widely several days after Gov. Perry signed his executive order in February 2007 mandating that sixth-grade girls be vaccinated with the HPV vaccine.

Gov. Rick Perry’s Huge Mistake

by Donna Garner February 5, 2007

Governor Perry has made a huge mistake in signing an executive order which mandates that all sixth-grade girls entering public schools by the fall of 2008 must be vaccinated for HPV. (Gardasil is produced by Merck Pharmaceuticals.)   

A public debate in the Legislature should have preceded such a drastic move, and all the medical data and parents’ rights issues should have been brought forward for careful consideration.  

To justify his executive order, Gov. Perry said that receiving an HPV vaccination is no different than receiving a polio vaccination; but obviously polio does not involve sexual behaviors. Certainly a girl’s parents should be the sole decision makers in making the choice for such a vaccination.   

Now parents are being told they must get their young daughters vaccinated against HPV as if to say to the child, “We do not expect nor believe that you will stay abstinent until marriage.” 

The decision to get young girls vaccinated for HPV is not an easy decision to make. In less than a year since approval, 82 cases of serious adverse events following HPV vaccinations of Gardasil have been reported(http://www.medalerts.org/vaersdb/findfield.php?PAGENO=1&PERPAGE=10&VAX=HPV4).  These incidents should have been discussed thoroughly in open forum in the Legislature before any mandate was even considered.  

Texas parents can opt their children out of the HPV vaccinations by going to www.vaclib.org/exempt/texas.htmand following the instructions which state, “An affidavit signed by the applicant or, if a minor, by the applicant’s parent or guardian stating that the applicant declines immunization for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. A form must be obtained at the Health Department.”

Parents need to evaluate all aspects of the HPV vaccine since there are no long-term studies yet on the way these sixth graders might be affected in future years when it comes time for them to have their own babies. Also, since the vaccine has only followed girls for five years, nobody knows for sure how long the vaccination may last without having a booster.

The HPV vaccine only covers 4 out of 30 types of HPV (Types 6, 11,16,18) which account for 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts. That still leaves 30% of cervical cancers and 10% of genital warts which are not covered by the HPV vaccine. 

Also, it will be important for the public to be continually reminded that there are many more sexually transmitted diseases than just HPV (e.g., chlamydia, herpes, hepatitis, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, AIDS, etc.)

A definite drawback to Gardasil is that girls must get three full doses of the vaccine for it to be effective. How many families are going to understand the urgency of making sure their girls get three full doses over a six months’ period of time?  

The seriousness of HPV has been one of the driving forces behind the plea for teens to remain abstinent until marriage.  Condoms do not offer adequate protection against HPV since the virus is often carried on the parts of the body which are not covered by the condom. 

It is important not to downplay the seriousness of HPV. Close to 90% of women who are infected with HPV will clear it; but according to the American Cancer Society webpage, “The American Cancer Society predicts that there will be about 11,150 new cases of invasive cervical cancer in the United States in 2007. About 3,670 women will die from this disease that same year.”  

In other words, only a small percentage of 80% of women will develop cervical cancer; but because 80% represents a huge number of women, the small percentage of 80% adds up to a very sizeable population — 11,150 new cases with 3,670 yearly who will die of HPV. 

Gov. Perry should have avoided the appearance of being bought off by the HPV vaccine lobbyists.  Mike Toomey is a lobbyist for Merck and was Gov. Perry’s former chief of staff.  Since 2005, Merck has given Gov. Perry $6,000 for his campaign.  His present chief of staff’s mother-in-law is Rep. Diane Delisi who is state director of Women in Government, a powerful group which is pushing Merck’s agenda —http://www.womeningovernment.org/prevention/documents/LargeCampaignActivityMap2-1-2007.pdf). 

Middle-income taxpayers will be hit twice: once to pay higher private insurance premiums and second, to pay for higher taxes to cover the cost of free immunizations for girls on Medicaid and other state/federal programs. 

Gov. Perry’s executive order gives the public another reason to doubt politicians. The Governor said he did not talk to anyone from Merck, and technically that may be right. But I suspect that his wife, a nurse, was lobbied very heavily by Merck. 

Gov. Perry and his wife may have been very well meaning in trying to protect girls from this dangerous disease; but an executive order was the wrong way to gain public acceptance of the HPV vaccination. 

A better solution would have been for the Governor to have thrown the power and influence of his office behind abstinence-until-marriage programs and to have enlisted all state agencies, public schools, the film industry, and the media to surround our teens with the unequivocal abstinence message. 

If after studying all the medical information about the HPV vaccination, the parents want their daughters to have the vaccination, then that should be the parents’ decision and not one made by a politician.


Since I wrote the above article in 2007, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported on 8.8.11 that in the U. S. there have been 32 confirmed deaths in women out of 54 suspicious deaths from Gardasil and 8,727 reports submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System following Gardasil vaccinations (e.g., blood clots, fainting, Guillain-Barré syndrome).


To read my 8.15.11 article on “The Good and the Bad About Gov. Perry,” 




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One Response to “The Truth: CNN Republican Debate”

  1. Beverly Nuckols, MD Says:

    The legislature is responsible for the “opt out.” See my blog http://wingright.org/2011/09/13/one-more-time-perry-gardasil-and-the-facts/

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