Gov. Rick Perry’s Weird Science

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Since Texas Governor Rick Perry announced he was running for President on Aug. 13, the American public has learned a great deal about his stance on various health care issues. We’ve also learned that he tends to make decisions based on evidence involving an n of 1: himself.

While defending his 2007 attempt to make human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations mandatory for young girls in Texas, he pointed out that both of his parents were cancer survivors and proclaimed, “I hate cancer.”

When asked to justify continued spending on abstinence-only education, despite the fact that it didn’t seem to be budging Texas’ high rates of teen pregnancy, he said, “I can tell you from my own life that abstinence works.”

And finally, feeling recovered from his own lower-back surgery, which included a highly experimental stem-cell treatment, Perry went into overdrive, awarding $7.5 million to adult stem cell research and recommending that Texas become the first state to house a stem cell treatment facility, like the controversial centers that are found in China and Taiwan, among other places.

The governor’s health- and medicine-related record makes it difficult to predict how he would respond to health issues to which he had no personal connection. And one has to question whether he would be wise enough to favor evidence-based policies regarding the public’s health.

Here’s a look at Perry’s weird science.

(*For you non-science geeks out there, n represents the number of people in a scientific sample.)

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