My jaw dropped when Paul used the words “forcibly” and “sexually transmitted disease” and “12 year old girls” in the same sentence when describing something as basic to public health as inoculation against a virus that currently a full 50% of all sexually active men and women will get. If you did not know what the word inoculate meant, you would have thought from the context of those words strung together that the government was not actually enforcing public health in a non-invasive way as it is its full prerogative to do, but rather encouraging the raping and infection of pre-adolescent children.
This appeal to the almighty wisdom of parents (and in this case religious parents who apparently are less afraid of their children getting cancer than getting condoms) is not a rational commitment to liberty, it is not a rational fear of statism, it is not what should be called “libertarianism”, it is anarchism. It is the view not that the state needs to be kept within the limits of its abilities to successfully do good but the view that the state is inherently evil, that even its actions which are ostensibly only aimed at advancing public health are authoritarian impositions on people’s rights to die of preventable illnesses. And, in this particular case, it is anarchism on behalf of private religious power. Rather than being interested in the liberties of all people, this sort of insistence on “freedom” aims at increasing the abilities of religions to control people’s lives even to the point where those religions want to oppose medical treatments that their moralistic myopia, medical ignorance, and/or indifference to the suffering of others makes them think are evil or unnecessary.
And the other candidates, were as bad as Paul on this issue:
And Rick Santorum, in response to the question, “What about Perry’s reversal on the wisdom of mandatory HPV vaccinations for young girls in Texas? Is it enough for him to say, ‘oops, I made a mistake’?:
It’s enough to say oops if when fully briefed on what he did that after being fully briefed he made a mistake. But he kept this position for years and in fact was hostile towards those that opposed him. It’s only in recent months that he has decided it’s an oops. That is an election day flip flop for no other reason except that his position is an untenable one. And having the government step in and require this type of vaccination for 12 year old girls without, with parents not having the right but to object. I mean it was forced other than parent’s objecting.
And Michelle Bachmann:
It is wrong for government, whether it’s state or federal government, to impose on parents what they must do to inoculate their children.