STATEMENT: Center Commends Coventry Resolution Calling for End to HPV Vaccine Mandate; EU launches new safety probe

August 26, 2015

Coventry School Committee Calls on Governor to Rescind Department of Health Action
Public and Legislative Concerns Intesify Against Unpopular HPV Mandate

The nonpartisan RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity commends the Coventry School Committee for unanimously passing a resolution last evening, which calls upon the Governor to rescind the controversial and unpopular HPV vaccine mandate that would exclude children from attending school for not receiving the invasive immunization shot.

CNWJfXUWEAU-642“The Center encourages all school committees and town or city councils to consider taking similar action,” suggested Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “Grassroots and local advocacy of this nature is the most effective way to get a clear message to the political class; in this case, that the state should not infringe on the rights of parents and families to make such private and personal decision for themselves.”

The Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH) has already backpedaled in two significant areas, by suggesting that parents should use the religious exemption form and by stating that the DOH would not enforce the school exclusion. “If there’s no longer any enforcement and if people are encouraged to opt out, then let’s end this charade … and end this mandate.” concluded Stenhouse.

Underscored by recent reporting that the European Union’s equivalent of the FDA is launching a new investigation into the safety of the HPV vaccine, there are a number of legitimate questions and facts that should cause the Governor, and all lawmakers, 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 2400 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 concerns: 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 prepared to cite research sources.
  • Lack of governmental transparency. The Center questions how such a controversial public policy could have been 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 freedom

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