On Jan. 16, Women in Government issued its 2007 State Report on Cervical Cancer Prevention.
(WiG is the nonprofit organization behind the effort to mandate HPV vaccines across the country. WiG coincidentally receives large donations - that it refuses to disclose - from Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, the two pharmaceutical companies making the HPV vaccine. State Sen. Debbie Halvorson, who has introduced this legislation in IL, is a WiG board member.)
WiG ranked Illinois as the second highest top-performing state for 1) cervical cancer screening; 2) women who have health insurance; and 3) free HPV testing for uninsured women. In IL, according to WiG:
- 87.4% of all women are screened for cervical cancer
- 83.6% of uninsured women are screened for cervical cancer
- Medicaid covered HPV testing/Pap tests is unrestricted
Illinois, according to WiG, "continues to receive high marks in terms of sceening and is in the top tier of states in terms of screening for uninsured women."
So why the push for costly, unproven, invasively-mandated HPV vaccines in IL?
The state knows exactly where most of these women live: Perry, Edwards, and Hardin Counties, and 13 south/southwest Chicago zip codes. Both the state and WiG concur most women who die of cervical cancer live in rural, poor, or minority areas.
And the federal Vaccines for Children Program has already sent 1.3 million HPV doses to states, including IL, for girls covered by Medicaid or Blagojevich's All Kids universal health care program!
The more one learns about the thrust to mandate HPV vaccinations, the more absurd or unseemly it appears. Either there really is collusion between lawmakers and Merck/Glaxo, or lawmakers are subjecting all our girls to political correctness, unwilling to mandate vaccines solely for those truly at risk: poor, minority and rural children.
Finally, the IL Cervical Cancer Elimination Task Force - of which Halvorson is a member - reported in 2006 that of 15.3 million new STD cases annually, only 1/3 - 5.5 million - are for HPV. The others are chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, Hepititis B, trichamoniasis, and HIV.
Halvorson told the State Journal-Register yesterday, "Obviously abstinence is best."
Halvorson should put our money where her mouth is. It would have much greater impact to spend tax dollars on abstinence education in the aforementioned three counties and south/southwest Chicago neighborhoods and potentially shrink the ramifications of ALL STDs rather than focus on mandated vaccinations of all our girls for only 4 of over 100 strains of HPV.