Saturday, November 05, 2005

Sigh. Watch this one become a study action issue.

A few liberal blogs, and even some atheist ones have raised the issue of the HPV vaccine.

Basically, there is a sexually transmitted virus that a woman can get that makes it much easier for her to get cervical cancer. Merck has developed a vaccine against it and some are calling for every little girl in America to get it along with her regular round of vaccines.

The problem is that the Christian right objects to the idea, saying that to vaccine against a sexually transmitted disease is to condone premarital sex.

IMHO, this is an asanine view. The theoretical Chalicekids would get vaccinated against anything and everything so fast it would make your head spin and the idea that kids today are worried enough about HPV not to have premarital sex but would go right ahead if all they had to worry about was AIDS is ridiculous.

That said, I am skeptical that it is my right to impose that decision on other people. HPV is not particularly easy to spread in the sense that the measels or mumps are, nor is it remotely resembling an epidemic.

After all, we are talking about people who really honestly believe that it would be the best thing if every kids got saved. And at least right now, nobody's trying to impose that.

But more to the point, it seems like every time we decide to impose something like this, even when we're right, it creates a huge and pointless backlash.

If "our side" succeeds in imposing this decision, we may or may not be doing the right thing. But either way, my conservative clients are going to make so much money from this...



Catdaddy-n-Dr.Squeeky said...

Given gender inequalities when it comes to premarital sex, many women who were virgins when they got married remain at risk of HPV because their husbands were not. We can hide beneath the sand of thinking that our kids are not having sex, and we'll only be putting them at risk... and not only for HPV...

fausto said...

Conservative Xtians, like other sects (Christian Science is an obvious one), should have every right to opt out of rational public health programs on religious grounds, as long as their doing so does not pose a grave and immediate risk to the rest of the population. Refusing inoculations of minors against HPV is not the same proposition as, say, refusing inoculations against bird flu if a pandemic has started.

However, that gives them no right to dictate public health policy for everyone else on religious grounds!

Chalicechick said...

Catdaddy-- Again, it's stupid.

But it is their right to be stupid in this way.


Anonymous said...

While I agree, making this mandatory is not a battle worth fighting, I've been following this vaccine for a loooong time and the first opposition I heard to it from the far right crowd was well before any mention of making it mandatory came from public health experts. I agree, let the stupid-heads refuse to vaccinate their kids against HPV, and when cervical cancer is found exclusively in women raised by fundamentalist parents maybe they'll change their tune. Chances are though, the far right is going to make it difficult for everyone else to receive, too, so rather than the vaccine being subsidized for the poor, or covered by health insurance, it may be something that is only available to the rich.

TheCSO said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TheCSO said...

I had a long comment posted here, and CC suggested it would be better as a post. So it's a new blog post now. I removed the copy here to be less confusing.