Governor Pence Chooses Ideology over Recommendations from Medical Professionals on HPV Letter

INDIANAPOLIS – Drew Anderson, communications director for the Indiana Democratic Party, released the following statement after Governor Mike Pence ignored advice by 30 medical professionals and instead buckled to conservatives over the recent HPV letter sent by the Indiana Department of Health.

“Governor Mike Pence’s ideology has got the best of him again, but this time, our Hoosier children’s health is in jeopardy. After Indiana received an embarrassing 32nd ranking in children’s overall well-being, you’d think Mike Pence would stop trying to appease his base but instead solve one of today’s health problems facing our state. However, because he’s so worried about his upcoming re-election chances, he’s willing to let the status quo continue where a small number of children have received a vaccine that’s medically proven to prevent disease and several cancers. What today’s move tells Hoosiers – he’s willing to ignore recommendations from over 30 medical professionals and advance his political agenda over the health and well-being of our state.”

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON HISTORY OF HPV VACCINE IN INDIANA

Statehouse GOP

HEADLINE: “Bill To Increase HPV Vaccines Defeated By House” [Statehouse File, 2.25.15]

Statehouse File: “Supporters say the bill – which did not require anyone to actually get the vaccine – had been a victim of a campaign by conservative groups who are squeamish about the nature of HPV, a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to several types of cancer.” [Statehouse File, 2.25.15]

Governor Mike Pence

HEADLINE: “Pence Lobbies Against HPV Vaccinations” [Indiana Public Media, 2/26/15]

Indiana Public Media: Pence “Lobbied Against Legislation Encouraging More Young People To Get Vaccinated Against HPV Because Of Concerns About Government Mandates.” “Gov. Mike Pence says he lobbied against legislation encouraging more young people to get vaccinated against HPV because of concerns about government mandates. The proposed House bill, authored by Rep. Sue Errington, D-Muncie, set a goal for the state to have 80 percent of 13 -15 year olds vaccinated against HPV by 2020… But Pence says setting a goal could lead to a vaccination requirement. ‘I just think this is a matter better left to parents in consultation with their doctors,’ Pence says. He says the state already does enough by providing information to parents about the vaccine.” [Indiana Public Media, 2/26/15]

###