Thursday, September 14, 2006 - Michigan legislation would require girls to get HPV vaccine

As long as the vaccine's been proven safe, I think this is a good idea. Of course the Family Research Council disagrees -

"We don't feel using school attendance as a form of coercion to get parents to vaccinate their child is appropriate, simply because this disease is not transmitted through casual contact the way other diseases are that are subject to school mandates," said Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.

Peter Sprigg should say what he really means - If a girl has sex prior to marriage, and contracts cancer due to an
HPV infection, then she deserves it, because she shouldn't have had sex in the first place. Who cares if the sluts die, right? Since the vaccine is most effective if given prior to the start of sexual activity, I suppose Pete would like it to be given before a woman gets married, which is when she ought to lose her virginity anyway? Self-righteousness does not make good public health policy.

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Westley (random internet loser) said...

Wow, you sure are reading a lot (incorrectly) into that statement. Sprigg is arguing that if parents have objections to the vaccine, then the student shouldn't be punished by being blocked from enrolling in school.

I don't agree with this position anymore than I like it when parents refuse to allow their child to attend sex ed classes. However, I do believe that parents should have the option of foregoing it. As Sprigg posits, the vaccine does not prevent a disease that students are likely to actually catch at school.

Well, I'm sure that students in Northern Florida are probably bonking each other right in class, but that's the exception.

Chris Howard said...

Did you read the article or just my excerpt? The author of the article uses Sprigg's statement as an example of critics who among other things, are concerned that requiring the vaccine would "send a message that underage sex is OK." But we don't have to rely on the author. Go to the Family research Council's policy statement on the HPV vaccine. One statement from that policy paper - We recognize that the most current immunological studies suggest that these vaccines would be most effective in pre-adolescents. Our primary concern is with the message that would be delivered to nine- to twelve-year-olds with the administration of the vaccines. Care must be taken not to communicate that such an intervention makes all sex "safe." The overriding concern here from the FRC isn't administration of vaccines per se, but the method of transmission of the HPV. The fact that the FRC is not happy even though parents can opt out shows that they don't really care about the science or the public health aspect, but are more concerned with the "message".

Westley (random internet loser) said...

Yes, I read the entire article. Numerous times actually -- trying to see how you read all of that into his comments. Of course there are people who want to give children and adolescents the message that sex is dangerous and that you should not have sex until marriage. It's not a message with which I agree, but they have the right to hold such views.

However, I think it's incredibly cynical to assume that they actually want sexually active adolescents to die. Christian Scientists would be against this vaccine too, obviously -- do they want their kids to die as well?

Chris Howard said...

Of course they wouldn't say they want people to die. But they pursue policies rooted in their notions of morailty which have adverse consequences in the real world. And I do believe that presented as an abstract number, many in the FRC would rather a few thousand women died of cervical cancer if it meant that underage sex would be reduced. I'm very cynical about the religious right.

Jenn said...

HPV is not ONLY an STD -- it is contracted in other ways as well. He's a fucking idiot. And of course, my best friend EVER!