New Research Reveals Waste and Subterfuge on AB 499

ACTION  Completed
Bill Signed by Governor

by William B. May

Gardasil AB 499 California parental rights issue similar to the one Rick Perry faced in Texas

SAN FRANCISCO, September 15, 2011-- These days, Governor Brown’s phone (916 445-2841) is often busy as thousands are calling for his veto of AB 499. It is an outrageous attack on parental rights and responsibility that would let interest groups like Planned Parenthood go, without their parents’ knowledge, directly to children as young as 12 years old and talk them into being vaccinated with Gardasil, a vaccine for preventing 4 strains of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus.


Flood the governor's office  with phone calls and letters.

Please veto AB 499. It is bad healthcare policy, and an attack on the rights of parents and the rights of children to have the protection and guidance of their parents.

Besides, the state cannot afford expenditures for a  new healthcare program, particularly one that is not needed and not wanted.

  • Governor Jerry Brown
    c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    Phone: (916) 445-2841
    Fax: (916) 558-3160

A copy of the letter that CCG sent to members of the Governor.

NEW-- Prestigious medical journals question benefits of Gardasil and Merck's marketing tactics

Hear CCG's Bill May debate Tonya Chaffee, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at UCSF on KQED's Forum, San Francisco/ Sacramento

Talking points,

Extensive background,

CCG Press Release- Availability of spokespersons

State Senate Vote

I have just completed research that provides disturbing new information about the bill. We and other groups have provided the Governor with compelling reasons to justify vetoing AB 499. The only question is, will enough people call his office every day to make sure he knows that the people of California are behind him in standing up to the powerful interests pushing this bill?

So many people are calling are calling the Governor's office that they have set up an automated system to record requests. It is critical to keep the calls coming (916 445-2841).

Please call today and ask 5 other people to do so as well. Please keep up the pressure until we know that he has put his veto on the bill and sent it back to the legislature with a message to keep their hands off our kids!

Just a week ago, Brown did just that in a veto message for a mandatory ski helmet bill. “I am concerned about the continuing and seeming inexorable transfer of authority from parents to the state,” wrote Governor Brown. “I believe parents have the ability and responsibility to make good choices for their children.” I have told him that his statement is even more pertinent when it comes to the “right of parents to make consequential healthcare decisions for their children.”

Here is the new information my research has turned up:

  • This bill is designed to create the broadest 12-17 year old market possible for Merck by including inoculation of boys, although the Center for Disease Control currently only recommends it for girls. That doubles potential sales.
  • Consequently, based on Senate Appropriations Committee figures, this bill could mean more than $30 million of additional sales for Merck—all at federal taxpayer expense. Over a million more in taxpayer funds will be spent at the state level to pay the people providing the injections.
  • Ironically, most of the money would be wasted. Three injections costing $120 each are required over six months for immunization. The Center for Disease Control reports that 73% of teenagers receiving injections never complete the series to actually become immunized! That money is wasted. Only Merck benefits. Fortune/CNN last year reported that this “seems to be the equivalent of a design flaw”. No kidding.
  • The author, Assemblywoman Toni Atkins of San Diego, is trying to drum up people to call the Governor on the other side. She is pointing to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) as the sponsors. Their member doctors probably don’t even know that they are playing this role, because there is no mention of support for AB 499 on ACOG’s website. I decided to follow the money and found that while ACOG received corporate support from more than 35 companies, 60% of the grants came from Merck in 2010. In addition to that $477,000, Merck donated another 97,000 during the first quarter 2011.

These new facts are scandalous.

God bless the California bishops. The California Catholic Conference has been actively opposing AB 499 and providing strong leadership. Los Angeles Archbishop Gomez in a strongly worded public statement said, “Children have a fundamental right to the guidance and protection of their parents. This legislation would deny those rights.”

Archbishop Gomez also raised concerns that, “There is no way we can ensure that our children will not be pressured by parties that may not have their best interests in mind, and may in fact have financial or other motivations to encourage our children to seek these vaccines,”

This vaccine is very controversial because of concerns about its safety and benefits. It also sends an inappropriate and mixed message to children -- on one-hand, resist the temptation to be sexually active while on the other hand, prepare for it. These are legitimate concerns and are a key reasons why the decision for HPV vaccination should be one between parent and child. That is why it is critical to fight, and not let the state take away the fundamental rights of parents over the healthcare for their children. As I said in a press statement issued today, “We don’t need laws to permit interest groups to go directly to children because their parents have said ‘no’.”

William B. May is Chairman, Catholic for the Common Good

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