While I didn’t get a chance to see the entire Tea Party-sponsored debate among the Republican presidential candidates, I did see clips of a back and forth between Minn. Rep. Michele Bachman and Texas Gov. Rick Perry over the latter’s decision to mandate HPV vaccinations for school-aged girls. Here’s a brief snippet I found on Addicting Info:
“What was driving me obviously was making a difference in young people’s lives,” Perry said. “Cervical cancer is a terrible way to die.”
But Bachmann struck back. “Little girls don’t get a mulligan. They don’t get a do-over,” she said.
“This is big government run amok,” Santorum chimed in. “This is a bad policy and shouldn’t have been done.”
“At the end of the day, you may criticize me about the way that I went about it,” Perry said. “But I am always going to err on the side of life.”
“Was this about life or was it about millions of dollars and potential billions for a drug company?” Bachmann demanded.
Perry said that Merck’s donation amounted to $5,000. “If you’re saying I can be bought by $5,000, I’m offended.”
“I’m offended by all the little girls who didn’t have a choice,” Bachmann snapped back.
“What we were about was trying to save young people in Texas,” Perry replied.
Stop right there, Bachmann. Please do not carry the torch of choice for the Texas girls who were mandated to get the HPV vaccine when you are more than willing to restrict and ban choice for adult WOMEN who want to consider having an abortion.
Republicans and conservatives have a way of basking in their own hypocrisy when it comes to government mandates and choice. These candidates bristled at the thought of Gov. Perry mandating the HPV vaccine, but in the same breath would have no qualms about touting him if he outlawed abortions and choice for women in his own state. These same candidates would look down on the government for repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but would readily sign onto a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
What bothers me most about Bachmann’s assertion that she was “offended” by the lack of choice among little girls is how she doesn’t seem offended by how her anti-choice stance would force women to carry the baby of a rapist to full-term. She doesn’t seem offended by the rape and impregnation of little girls by a relative, acquaintance or a stranger and how they would be forced to carry those fetuses to full term due to the lack of choice she and others are so hell bent on shoving down mainstream America’s throats. She doesn’t seem offended by women who would be forced to carry a fetus to full-term, despite an inevitable threat to her life and health.
No, Michele Bachmann. You don’t give a damn about choice unless it suits your reactionary moral views.