Pence Helps Defeat HPV Vaccine Bill

Feb 26, 2015

Senate Minority Leader Scott Pelath.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor 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 Muncie Democrat Sue Errington, set a goal for the state to have  80 percent of 13 to 15 year olds vaccinated against HPV by 2020. 

HPV is a virus linked to several forms  of cancer, including cervical cancer, and only around 20 percent of Hoosiers are currently vaccinated  against it.

The bill was defeated after several lawmakers voiced concerns about the state requiring  parents to vaccinate, something House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says wasn’t a part of the bill.

“What we’re seeing is old-fashioned thinking about real-life, modern issues,” says Pelath. 

But Governor 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,” says Pence. 

Pence says the state already does enough by providing information to parents about the vaccine.