Iowa Governor Chet Culver signed a bill into law last week requiring state-regulated insurance companies to cover the costs of human papillomavirus vaccines. HPV is linked to many kinds of cervical cancer. HPV vaccines like Gardasil protect against about 70 percent of the HPV strains that are linked to cervical cancer.
According to a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa, as many as 1 in 4 women has HPV, and about 50 Iowa women die each year from some form of cancer in the reproductive system, reports Radio Iowa News.
The bill only applies to state-regulated health-insurance policies, and will not apply to policies that don’t already cover other vaccinations. However, the governor praised the bill as “an important first step,” according to the Des Moines Register.