Not a whole lot to report from the Bell conference call, other than — as we mentioned earlier — he thinks Guvnah Rick Perry is playing politics with women's health.
"I have to ask, Rick," says Bell, "do you have the courage to put the health of our mothers, sisters and daughters above the political interests of your friends in the legislature?" (Rick was unavailable for comment.)
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Bell wants Perry to back State Rep. Jessica Farrar's upcoming bill which would add the HPV vaccine to the list of required vaccinations in Texas, noting that 3,700 women died of cervical cancer last year. "I amazed that an ethical decision has to be made about whether or not we should promote a vaccine that would prevent 70 percent of cervical cancer cases," says Bell. He scoffs at the idea that vaccines such as the HPV drug — which also stymies HPV 6 and 11, the cause of 90 percent of genital warts -- promotes promiscuity, as argued by conservatives. "Who seriously thinks that the threat of cervical cancer 40 years down the road is a major factor in a teenager's decision today?"
There was also talk about "drawing a line between morality and medicine," but I was anxious to hear what Congressman Bell had to say about Grandma's idea to have the Texas Rangers head up homeland security in the Lone Star State. So how 'bout it, Chris? Texas Rangers to the rescue?
"Given the financial challenges that we face in the state of Texas right now," says Bell, "the last thing we need to do be doing is relieving the federal government of responsibilities. We need to be bringing as much pressure to bear as possible on the federal government to start increasing border patrol agents and increasing observation towers along the border and increasing fencing. But to say that we're going to take this over and say that we're going to take this over and start using our own dollars to relieve them of their responsibility doesn't make any sense whatsoever. My understanding is that the Texas Rangers were already involved in certain respects. To increase those responsibilities and increase the burden upon the state of Texas doesn't seem to fiscally responsible in my way of thinking."