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Politics trumps public health (again)

<p>We talked the other day about South Carolina Gov.</p>

We talked the other day about South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) vetoing an HPV vaccine bill, despite bipartisan support in the state legislature, despite the fact that she'd co-sponsored the bill when she was a lawmaker, and despite the fact that the proposal would save lives by preventing cervical cancer. If you missed it, Rachel's segment on this is well worth your time.

I bring this up again because South Carolina lawmakers had a chance to override Haley's veto, and made an effort yesterday to do so. Regrettably for everyone involved, the measure came up short.

The South Carolina House failed Tuesday to override Gov. Nikki Haley's veto of a bill intended to provide information on and access to a free vaccine that prevents a sexually transmitted, cancer-causing virus.The House's 54-47 vote killed the bill, which called for informational brochures on the vaccine for human papillomavirus, known as HPV, to be provided to parents of sixth-graders. Parents could choose to have their seventh-graders receive the vaccine. The bill specifies those provisions depend on funding. A two-thirds majority was needed for the override.

The vaccine wouldn't have been mandatory, and any parent who wanted to opt out their kids would have been free to do so, but it didn't matter.

As mistermix vented in frustration, "[A] state with a teen pregnancy rate higher than the national average [pdf] won't need to worry about any of those sluts thinking they can have unprotected sex without the risk of getting HPV."

Before the vote in the state legislature, a letter was distributed to members from Dr. Andrew Kraft, director of the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. He noted that South Carolina ranks ninth nationwide for cervical cancer deaths, and that despite an FDA recommendation, less than 20 percent of those eligible in South Carolina receive the vaccine.

For Haley and just enough Republican policymakers, the facts didn't matter.

In this case, politics is trumping public health, and the consequences will be tragic.