Sunday, July 02, 2006

What The Independent Women Think

This refers to the right-wing girl's auxiliary called The Independent Women's Forum (bankrolled by the Scaife Foundation) and the thoughts are about Gardasil, the vaccine that just might save women from cervical cancer. As the virus Gardasil attacks is sexually transmitted, these ladies appear to oppose the vaccine's wide availability. Or at least they let one Charlotte Allen oppose it on their blog:

Here's the New York Times report:

"The vote all but commits the federal government to spend as much as $2 billion alone on a program to buy the vaccine for the nation's poorest girls from 11 to 18.

"The vaccine, Gardasil, protects against cancer and genital warts by preventing infection from four strains of the human papillomavirus, the most common sexually transmitted disease, according to federal health officials. The virus is also a cause of other cancers in women."

If you think 11 sounds young for sex, how about age 9--the recommended age in some cases?

But there are a few hitches--such as parents who, uh, balk at the idea of telling prepubescent girls that it's just fine for them to have all the sex they want, 'cuz now they'll be vaccinated! And isn't it against the law to have sex with children?

Such nasty minds wingnuts seem to have! To equate getting the vaccination young with the idea of getting right down to the business of sex! I'm not certain what else to say about that bit.

She goes on, first quoting the New York Times report:

"Another challenge is Gardasil's price. At $360 for the three-shot regimen, it is among the most expensive vaccines ever. Because cervical cancer is mostly a disease of poverty, those in most need of the vaccine will be the least able to afford it. State vaccination programs, already under financial strain, may refuse to provide it."

I hope they do refuse. How about telling young teen-agers instead that sexual promiscuity is not only a bad idea but actually dangerous to their health?

How about that? You could tell your children that there is a vaccine which might protect them from cervical cancer, but you're not going to get it for them because you like the idea of having them worry about cancer should they start feeling all sexual. - It's really hard for me to understand the kind of dysfunctional families that would like such a message.

More generally, abstaining from teenaged sex might not protect young women. For one thing, they can get raped. For another thing, their future husband-to-be may be sleeping around and then bringing home the virus on wedding night. It seems sensible to protect a young girl against such possibilities. Really.
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