HPV Vaccine Stirs Up Controversy

Kentucky lawmakers are back in Frankfort, Ky., and one is proposing a controversial piece of legislation.

State Rep. Kathy Stein wants lawmakers to pass a bill that would require middle-school girls to be vaccinated against a virus that causes cervical cancer.

Human papilloma virus or HPV is a sexually-transmitted virus that causes most cases of cervical cancer. Stein said her proposal would help spare girls from the threat of cervical cancer, which claims the lives of nearly 4,000 woman nationally every year.

Critics of the bill said it would prevent parents from making health decisions. A spokesman for the Family Foundation of Kentucky said the immunizations would be better understood if promoted through education.

Similar bills have been proposed in Texas and Maine.

Many in Texas were surprised when the Governor, Rick Perry, simply ordered that young schoolgirls in Texas must be vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.

The governor's executive order makes Texas the first state to mandate the vaccine, and allows him to sidestep opposition in the legislature and from parents' rights groups who fear it might send a message condoning premarital sex.