RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC/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 (PAP’-uh-loh-ma-vire-us), or HPV, vaccination before girls reach sixth grade.

HPV is spread through sexual contact.

A study published online Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association found 7 percent of Americans aged 14 to 69 are infected with the virus.

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.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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