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Dennis Bonnen, the Angleton Republican who authored the bill overturning Perry’s order, told .(Bonnen, now the Texas House Speaker, did not respond to emailed questions.) The blowback would haunt Perry for years.
Now, 12 years after Texas and Australia first veered onto wildly different courses regarding HPV prevention, their gap in health outcomes has widened demonstrably.
Rick Perry — a Republican — stunned the political establishment by announcing an executive order: Texas would become the first state in the nation to require all 11- and 12-year-old girls entering the sixth grade to receive the vaccination.
Doing so, Perry wrote, had “the potential to significantly reduce cases of cervical cancer and mitigate future medical costs.” Public health advocates were as elated as they were surprised.
When he unsuccessfully ran for president in 2011, the executive order spawned attacks from primary competitors on the right.
Perry ultimately called the order a mistake, saying, “If I had to do it over again, I would have done it differently.” Australian leaders took pains to avoid a mandate in their rollout of the vaccine program.