On February 2, 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed an executive order requiring all sixth grade girls in the state to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer. The order was the first of its kind in the US, although Virginia had previously mandated voluntary HPV vaccincation through the state legislature in March 2007. Governor Perry cited "an incredible opportunity to effectively target and prevent cervical cancer" in support of taking the issue out of the Texas legislature's control, where it faced strong opposition. Texas legislators questioned the legality of Perry's order and quickly repealed it with overwhelming support. Similar pieces of HPV vaccination legislation have faced opposition in New Mexico, but enjoyed support in Alaska, the District of Columbia and New Hampshire.
Learn more about Texas and the laws governing vaccines from the JURIST news archive.