Perry signed an executive order in 2007 that required Texas schoolgirls to receive vaccinations against the sexually transmitted HPV, although it wasn’t implemented.
Bachmann told Leno that Perry’s action had been “an abuse of executive power” and had sparked concern over “crony capitalism,” an apparent reference to the fact that a former Perry aide was a top lobbyist for Merck, the manufacturer for the HPV vaccine. Merck donated to Perry’s campaign fund.
She added: “The concern is that there’s, you know, potentially side effects that can come with something like that. But it gives a false sense of assurance to a young woman when she has that that if she’s sexually active that she doesn’t have to worry about sexually transmitted diseases.”
Leno responded: “Well, I don’t know if it gives assurance. It can prevent cervical cancer; correct?”
He then pressed Bachmann over comments she made earlier this week in which she said a woman had approached the congresswoman to say her daughter had suffered “mental retardation” as a result of receiving the vaccination.
There had been no recorded cases of such side effects despite 30 million people receiving the jab, Leno pointed out.
“I wasn’t speaking as a doctor. I wasn’t speaking as a scientist. I was just relating what this woman said,” Bachmann replied.