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After Its Defeat, Governor Calls HPV Vaccination Bill Government Overreach

Kreg Steppe

Governor Mike Pence says he lobbied against legislation encouraging more young people to get vaccinated against human papilloma virus, or HPV, because of concerns about government mandates. 

The proposed House bill, authored by Rep. Sue Erringto (D-Muncie), 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 -- a provision House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) says wasn’t in the language.

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

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,” Pence says.

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

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.