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Cervical cancer is a significant concern for Californians. Each year about 1,500 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and approximately 400 will die according to the California Cancer Registry. This makes California the state with the highest incidence of cervical cancer in the country. According to the American Cancer Society, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI), the leading cause of cervical cancer, and strikes more than 11,000 women in the United States each year.
The FDA approved the HPV vaccine in 2007 for women 11 to 26. The vaccine protects young women against the types of HPV that cause most cases of cervical cancer and genital warts. Gardasil, the vaccine that is currently available, protects against 4 types of HPV, which cause 70% of cervical cancer cases and 90% of genital warts cases.
Planned Parenthood Action Funds of California supports public policy and legislation which:
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) believes in expanding access, availability, and affordability of FDA approved method of preventing against STDs, including the HPV vaccine. As a result, PPAC has supported several pieces of legislation with coalition partners. Below is the list of bills that the legislature has considered on this subject.
This bill provides teens with access to medical care to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, such as the human papilloma virus (HPV). Confidential access to preventive medical services, including the HPV vaccine, will help protect both young women and men from certain strains of HPV that can cause cancer. AB 499, authored by Assemblymember Toni Atkins, expands the law to include STD prevention as a confidential medicial service that teens can consent to receive. AB 499 is sensible legislation which allows teens to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases.
Most teens already involve their parents in their health decisions, but for those teens who can't talk to their parents, AB 499 allows them to protect themselves against STDs and cancer.
In addition to PPAC, AB 499 was supported by leading health organizations such as the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Health Officers Association of California, the California STD Controllers Association, the California Medical Association, the California Family Health Council, the California Primary Care Association and Kaiser Permanente among others.