Bill of the Week: Immunization Choice for Children

Rep. Sarah Davis’ HB 97 would grant children the right to consent to their own immunization for cancer treatment

Bill of the Week: Immunization Choice for Children

House Bill 97 – Author: Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place

HB 97 would grant children the right to consent to their own immunization for cancer prevention and/or treatment, if the vaccine is approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Food and Drug Admin­i­stra­tion. Certain strains of both hepatitis B and the human papillomavirus, often referred to as HPV – the most common sexually transmitted infection, according to the CDC – are cancer-causing. While the youth vaccine can prevent HPV from developing into cervical cancer, conservative and religious groups widely contest the idea that children and teenagers should receive preventative treatments for STIs.

Texans for Vaccine Choice are horrified by Davis' bill, calling it "downright UN-Texan" and accusing it – along with Rep. Donna Howard's HB 241 – of undermining parents' "basic liberties." The PAC is concerned that Texas will pass a law similar to California's SB 277, which removed religious and personal belief exemptions from state vaccine requirements for school-aged children.

HB 97 goes hand in hand with two other bills filed by Davis: HB 107 would require the Department of State Health Services to submit annual reports on immunization rates for HPV, and HB 126 would require that parents participate in an online education course before submitting for a vaccine exemption. Davis' office did not respond to questions about the bills, but a statement from Brigette Dechant, her chief of staff, notes: "Not one piece of legislation that [Davis] is filing will take away a parent's right to choose. They will support CDC recommended guidelines and promote less confusion when parents decide what is best for their children." A cancer survivor herself, it's no wonder Davis would advocate for disease prevention.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Sarah Marloff
Federal Judge Dismisses Local Sexual Assault Survivors’ Lawsuit
Federal Judge Dismisses Local Sexual Assault Survivors’ Lawsuit
Yeakel cites progress by Lege in rejecting claims against APD, D.A.

Feb. 11, 2020

Qmmunity: A Bittersweet Goodbye From Q Editor Sarah Marloff
Qmmunity: A Bittersweet Goodbye From Q Editor Sarah Marloff
Sending it off with Mahogany Project and QueerBomb fundraiser

Feb. 7, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

House Bill 97, 85th Lege, Sarah Davis, Donna Howard

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle