My Quiet Life My Quiet Life

Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Cervical cancer strikes more than 10,000 U.S. women each year, killing more than 3,700. But a recent vaccine developed is nearly 100% effective in stopping the HPV virus that causes it.

Great news, right? Not for everyone, apparently:

Because the vaccine protects against a sexually transmitted virus, many conservatives oppose making it mandatory, citing fears that it could send a subtle message condoning sexual activity before marriage. Several leading groups that promote abstinence are meeting this week to formulate official policies on the vaccine.

The jockeying reflects the growing influence that social conservatives, who had long felt overlooked by Washington, have gained on a broad spectrum of policy issues under the Bush administration. In this case, a former member of the conservative group Focus on the Family serves on the federal panel that is playing a pivotal role in deciding how the vaccine is used.

Conservative groups say they welcome the vaccine as an important public health tool but oppose making it mandatory.

“Some people have raised the issue of whether this vaccine may be sending an overall message to teenagers that, ‘We expect you to be sexually active,’ “ said Reginald Finger, a doctor trained in public health who served as a medical analyst for Focus on the Family before being appointed to the ACIP in 2003, in a telephone interview.

He’s right, you know. After I got my last tetanus shot, I went out immediately and stepped on as many rusty nails I could find.

Anyways, sarcasm aside, this makes me irrationally angry. What planet are these people living on?