FILM EXPLORES “MISUNDERSTOOD” VIRUS …
|| By FITSNEWS || The South Carolina Cervical Cancer Awareness Initiative is hosting a screening of a new documentary on the campus of the University of South Carolina this week … but it’s real audience may be members of the S.C. Senate.
The documentary – by filmmakers Frederic Lumiere and Mark Hefti – is entitled “Someone You Love.” It’s focus? The human papillomavirus (HPV) – which has been the subject of intense political wrangling at the S.C. State House in recent years.
Narrated by Vanessa Williams, the film follows the lives of five women affected by the virus – a major contributor to cervical cancer.
In 2007, then S.C. Rep. Nikki Haley co-sponsored legislation requiring every 11-year-old girl in the Palmetto State to receive a vaccination against HPV. In fact Haley refused to take her name off of this controversial bill even after nearly two dozen of her colleagues (Republicans and Democrats) pulled their support in light of its failure to include “opt out” language.
On the campaign trail for governor in 2010, Haley lied about her position.
“Through the legislative process, it became clear to me that an opt-out provision was not going to be included in the bill and it sought to mandate that middle-school girls obtain a vaccine – and strip parents of the right to make the choice for their daughter(s),” Haley wrote on her campaign website in 2010. “In light of that turn of events, I voted to kill the bill.”
This year, S.C. Rep. Beth Bernstein sponsored a bill requiring the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) to provide information about the HPV vaccine to parents of sixth grade girls.
“The fact that our state has one of the highest cervical cancer mortality rates in the nation is unacceptable,” Bernstein said at the time. “By providing parents with information about this very important and safe vaccine, we can help prevent thousands of cancer cases in South Carolina each year.”
Bernstein’s bill cleared the S.C. House of Representatives by a wide margin but was blocked in the S.C. Senate by Lee Bright, who put a “minority report” on the legislation – thus preventing it from being taken up for a vote.
This week’s documentary screening will be held on Wednesday, September 16 at 6:00 p.m. EDT in the Russell House on the USC campus. For more information, click here.