MEDIA RELASE: Governor’s Response Not Sufficient to Quell Growing Controversy to HPV Vaccine Mandate; Public Hearings Begin Tonight

August 5, 2015

Grassroots Opposition Grows to Controversial HPV Vaccine Mandate
Governor Called Upon to Take More Informed Position

Providence, RI — The perfunctory response by Governor Raimondo’s office in supporting the controversial HPV mandate imposed last year on Rhode Island families is not sufficient to address the many questions and growing public opposition to the edict by the state’s Department of Health, according to the nonpartisan Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, which calls upon the Governor to take a more studied look at the issue.

“The Governor does not have any political capital invested in this bureaucratic mandate, as it was implement by the prior administration under a prior health director,” commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “She should be able to take a step back and take a thorough and objective in evaluating this very controversial government action.”

With the mandate scheduled to be implemented next month as a requirement to attend school for all 7th grade boys and girls, and with a series of public forums orchestrated by the Department of Health beginning this evening in Barrington, the Center urges all concerned parents and middle-schoolers to attend one of the forums and voice their opinions.

The Center expects to announce later this week plans for a press conference and opposition rally. Potential participants include parental opposition groups, concerned physicians, state legislators, professed victims of the vaccine, former state health department officials, and other good government groups.

There are a number of legitimate questions and facts that could cause the Governor to be concerned about continued support of this forced immunization:

  • Voters and parents are outraged. A Facebook group has exploded from just a few hundred members to almost two thousand in less than a week since this controversy became public.
  • A parental rights infringement. Parents are outraged that the government is forcing itself into the middle of their relationship with their children and their doctors.
  • Not a public health or school issue. The HPV virus is not communicable in a classroom or other public environment and is transmitted via sexual activity. HPV is a private, family issue that should be handled by parents, not the state government.
  • A special-interest handout? Big money from Merck, the pharmaceutical giant pushing the Gardasil vaccine, has been prevalent at both the national CDC level and in lobbying activities and a vendor relationship in the Ocean State. Such payouts raise serious questions about the validity of the CDC claims.
  • Medical questions: a local physicians group that contacted the Center questions the effectiveness of the vaccine and whether or not its documented side effects are more dangerous to children than the disease itself … and is preparing to cite its research.
  • Lack of governmental transparency. The Center questions how such a controversial public policy can be implemented without any legitimate legislative or public debate and will push for legislation to amend this process.

The Center’s home page for this issue is The Center strongly recommends that any parent uncomfortable with this vaccine for their children should claim a ‘religious medical exemption’, which can be executed via a simple form that can be downloaded from the website.

Media Contact:
Mike Stenhouse, CEO
401.429.6115 |

About the Center
The nonpartisan RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is Rhode Island’s premiere free-enterprise research and advocacy organization. The mission of the 501-C-3 nonprofit organization is to return government to the people by opposing special-interest politics and advancing proven free-market solutions that can transform lives by restoring economic competitiveness, increasing educational opportunities, and protecting individual freedoms.

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