South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley‘s office has announced that she has vetoed a Democratic sponsored bill to provide seventh-graders with a free HPV vaccine. The measure was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support according to the Lexington (S.C.) Patch.
In today’s polarized political scene it is hard to imagine any bill picking up support like this from both sides of the political isle. The measure passed with a 63-40 House vote and 40-2 Senate vote.
Haley’s office said the governor is defending her veto by saying the measure is a “precursor to another taxpayer-funded healthcare mandate,”
One of the sponsors of the bill, State Representative Bakari Sellers went on the attack against the Governor saying that Haley “puts her own selfish political ambitions ahead of the people of South Carolina.”
Seller’s office issued a statement which read,
“This bill had bipartisan support and gives optional education and preventative vaccines to adolescents in an effort to thwart cervical cancer. This is a common sense approach to a very serious problem. To call this measure unnecessary is demeaning and insulting to the heroic women who fight this cancer everyday. I am deeply disappointed that politics once again has prevailed over women’s health.”
Haley’s move carries with it an air of hypocrisy as when she was a state representative in 2007 she had co-sponsored a bill authorizing mandatory HPV vaccinations to be given to girls in the seventh grade. Haley had eventually withdrew her support for the bill because it did not include an opt out clause for parents to decline the vaccine if they didn’t want their children to have it.
The hypocritical part of the story is that Sellers’ bill did include the very opt-out clause that Haley fought for.
Even when faced with the facts Haley still maintained,
“It was a mistake then, I’ve said it’s a mistake now. Now that I have a 14-year-old daughter, it is something that is very close to my heart in terms of what I’m going to do as a parent and what I want for my child.”