Cancer survivor makes screenings available
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DCMH/MHC is the newest partner for the Marti Spittell-Ziegelbauer Foundation
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The Marti Spittell Ziegelbauer Foundation is directly involved in this effort, which if approved by the legislature would provide information about the Human Papilloma Virus and Gardasil - the vaccine - to schools and to parents of pupils in grades 6-12. We have now testified in support of this Bill before the Assembly Committee on Public Health, and the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services.
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"Let's protect the next generation of young women from Cervical Cancer."
Madison: The HPV vaccine won't be mandated for all Wisconsin 6th grade girls, according to a compromise reached between lawmakers and issue groups.
Instead, schools will need to provide parents with information about the vaccine and cervical cancer.
There was no disagreement at a press conference at the Capitol Tuesday that preventing cervical cancer in women is a good idea.
The disagreement is how far the state should go to achieve that goal. "We cannot allow small disagreements to keep us from taking action," says Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), in announcing a compromise.
The compromise bill would require every school in Wisconsin-public and private-to provide parents with information about the dangers of the human Papilloma virus and a vaccine that can prevent it. HPV has been linked to 70% of cervical cancer cases in women.
But HPV is transmitted through sexual contact, and the best time to give young girls the vaccine is age 12, before they're sexually active.
Conservative groups like Wisconsin Family Action, Inc. oppose vaccinating 12 year old girls for an STD. "Our point would be the very best way to prevent HPV is for young people to sexually absent until marriage-it's the only foolproof way to do that," says group president Julaine Appling.
"It is simply ridiculous to sexualize an anti-cancer vaccine," says Marti Spittell Ziegelbauer, a cervical cancer survivor. Her foundation is dedicated to preventing the disease. She wants the HPV vaccine mandated for all 6th grade girls. "Taking away the fear of cervical cancer is not going to affect anyone's sexual behavior."
Some lawmakers agree, but understand compromise is needed. "If it were up to me we would be mandating this, but education is the first step so that's where we will begin," says Rep. Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee).
Appling says it should be a choice. "We believe that the vaccine is appropriate for some people. We're not anti-the-vaccine. What we are anti is requiring it for all sixth grade girls entering any Wisconsin school."
The vaccine costs around $300 and is covered by some insurance plans.