A bill that could come up in the South Carolina General Assembly next year would give seventh-grade girls the option of getting vaccinated against human papilloma virus, or HPV.
HPV is the most common sexually-transmitted disease and does not by itself cause health problems for most people. However, it severely increases the risk of cervical cancer in women.
“In South Carolina we have very, very high instances of cervical cancer,” said State Rep. Bakari Sellers (D-Orangeburg), who is sponsoring the bill, “All I want to do is ensure that young ladies have the opportunity to get the vaccine.”
A similar bill came up in the Legislature in 2007. However, that bill eventually failed because it would have required students to get the vaccine, rather than simply offering it as an option.