Virginia House repeals HPV vaccination mandate

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia House of Delegates has passed legislation repealing a requirement that girls receive a vaccine to prevent a virus that can cause cervical cancer.

State law mandates the human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccination be given before girls reach sixth grade. HPV is spread through sexual contact.

Some conservative lawmakers believe the vaccine promotes casual premarital sex and say the state mandate usurps parental rights.

But supporters of the current law say the vaccine can save lives and point out that the statute includes a liberal opt-out provision.

The House voted 62-34 Friday to pass the bill, sponsored by Republican Del. Kathy Byron of Campbell County.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where similar legislation died last year when Democrats controlled the chamber. Republicans now control the Senate.