Does anyone remember the "What?! A Cure For Cancer?" post I did a while back dealing with the possibility of a vaccine for cervical cancer?
Whoa, not so fast there, Sparky.
Imagine a vaccine that would protect women from a serious gynecological cancer. Wouldn’t that be great? Well, both Merck and GlaxoSmithKline recently announced that they have conducted successful trials of vaccines that protect against the human papilloma virus. HPV is not only an incredibly widespread sexually transmitted infection but is responsible for at least 70 percent of cases of cervical cancer, which is diagnosed in 10,000 American women a year and kills 4,000. Wonderful, you are probably thinking, all we need to do is vaccinate girls (and boys too for good measure) before they become sexually active, around puberty, and HPV–and, in thirty or forty years, seven in ten cases of cervical cancer–goes poof. Not so fast: We’re living in God’s country now. The Christian right doesn’t like the sound of this vaccine at all. "Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful," Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council told the British magazine New Scientist, "because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex.
*drumming fingers on desk, obviously needing a moment to compose himself…*
Surely, surely, you’re not telling me that the United State of America is not going to save people’s lives, women’s lives, because a vaccine that protects against HPV might make it safer to engage in sex? No, excuse me, premarital sex?
So, then are you saying that there is going to be a political battle over this?
Yeah, right. My daughter is getting vaccinated. You just try and stop me.
Once again, I’m embarrassed for the state of humanity today. I’d rant and rave about how many people’s lives could be saved (approximately 275,000), and spout off a bunch more fact and figures, but I’m tired. So very tired. Wake me when the Bird Flu hits.