Bachmann continues HPV vaccine criticism, coins ‘Perrycare’

Chris Moody
September 16, 2011

In a new online video, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has stepped up her criticism of Texas Gov. Rick Perry's 2007 executive order that required 6th grade girls to take an anti-cancer vaccine, referring to his plan as "Perrycare."

"Whether it's Obamacare or Perrycare, I oppose any governor or president who mandates a family's health care choices, and in turn, violates the rights of parents on these issues," Bachmann says in the video, which the Bachmann presidential campaign released Friday.

Bachmann first hit Perry at Monday's CNN-Tea Party debate for mandating the vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer. In an interview after the debate with Fox News, Bachmann said that an unnamed mother told her that her daughter had suffered "mental retardation" as a result of taking the vaccine, a claim that scientific evidence does not support. Bachmann's statement has sparked outrage in the medical community, with two bioethics professors offering more than $10,000 for proof of the story. Although she repeated the anecdote for days after the debate, Bachmann said she has "no idea" about the truth of the story.

Minnesota, where Bachmann served in the state senate from 2001-2007, requires all students to obtain inoculations for polio, hepatitis B, tetanus, rubella and diphtheria. And when the state's child immunization program came in for minor revisions in the senate, Bachmann supported the programs, according to an AP report.