‘Right to Life’ group protests HPV vaccines

There are so few hard core right wing religious groups in Canada you can sometimes forget they exist at all. In typical Canadian fashion, most religious organizations are reluctant to get involved in any politics, and prefer not to make a fuss. However, a new proposed program has one province’s Right to Life group up in arms. Newfoundland is facing some opposition for wanting to offer vaccines for HPV to young girls, as religious groups claim such vaccines would further encourage kids to engage in sex. They want the program, which would help reduce cervical cancer rates by well over 70%, to be replaced by an abstinence only one.

I love these abstinence guys. Despite the overwhelming evidence that abstinence only teaching actually dramatically increases the instances of both pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, the religious organizations that push for this infantilizing program refuse to accept reality. It’s not a complete stretch for them to ignore strong evidence; it’s practically a daily habit for them. Luckily, the provincial government is more interested in the health of its citizens than in their immortal souls burning in eternal hellfire.

You have to wonder if any of these ignoramuses would quickly switch camps if one of their daughters or wives suddenly developed cervical cancer as a result of the human papillomavirus. Would they think their God had a special plan in place for their soon to be departed loved ones, or would they kick themselves knowing they could have prevented it? Even if giving out the vaccination did somehow slightly increase how many teenagers engage in sexual intercourse (for which there is zero evidence indicating it would), it’s a small price to pay for these young girls to have a greater chance of living long and healthy lives.

Comments (4)

  • avatar

    Right to Life Assocation

    The CBC headline was misleading. Our press release reads: “Therefore, the Right to Life Association encourages the government to present a strong message of abstinence along with the vaccination.” There is a difference between opposed and concerned.

    **

    Tuesday, August 7, 2007

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Concerns Over Government’s Human Papilloma Virus Vaccination Program

    The Right to Life Association applauds the provincial government for showing concern for preteen girls by introducing a plan to vaccinate them against the human papilloma virus (HPV), a STD which could lead to cervical cancer. The Right to Life Association believes that this plan, while it has good intentions, is a cause for great concern because of its imperfections.

    If the government was really concerned with the teenage STD infection rates, they would introduce an abstinence education program. The province’s current sex-ed curriculum may contain an abstinence element, but it is given only a fleeting mention, if any. The Right to Life Association has heard many complaints from parents, students, and teachers, that abstinence is not given enough attention in the school system. Many of those involved in the school system have asked for a comprehensive abstinence-ed curriculum.

    As it stands now, the sex-ed curriculum may actually contribute to teenage pregnancy and STD infection rates. It could give children an impression that they have a green light to sexual activity. It can give them a false sense of security in their knowledge about the risks of sexual activity, resulting in them being less hesitant to engage in promiscuity. For example, HPV may be so widely spread because teens may not understand the instruction that condoms are not perfect. Clearly, a curriculum focusing on sex rather than abstinence does not work.

    The HPV vaccination program may lead to the same result as contraception and sex-ed. If those receiving the vaccination are ill-informed about its limitations, they may embrace promiscuity more willingly. Therefore, the Right to Life Association encourages the government to present a strong message of abstinence along with the vaccination. It is through this message that these preteens can learn of the inherit value of their bodies, the sacred gift of sex, and the risks of promiscuity. Armed with this knowledge, preteens can truly begin to protect themselves from STDs such as HPV.

    ##

    For further information or commentary contact:
    nffriendsforlife@nl.rogers.com

    **

    On another note, the Canadian Medical Association Journal said that this vaccine is premature. Further research may need to be done.

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    If your organization believes that teaching sexual education actually increases the rate of teen pregnancies, then I would be more than happy to see your data on the matter. As it stands, abstinence teaching is as effective as preventing young men from masturbating; ie it presents no benefits. In fact, abstinence teaches kids that sexual impulses are wrong and dangerous, making it all the more attractive. If you need further proof of this, look no further than Texas, which has abstinence only programs and who suffers from the highest teen pregnancy rate in the country.

    Stop telling everyone that sex is a sin. It might not be ok for everyone to have it, but making someone feel guilty for engaging in a sexual activity is infantilizing, and creates a false sense of immorality where none exists. Keep religious dogma and government mandate separate.

  • avatar

    maureen

    We live in a society that values sex appeal and promiscuity. Sex sells cars and we let it. It is the fathers of those daughters that are allowing them to buy into the Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. It is everywhere children look, movies, video games, music, TV internet etc. If a parent can’t talk to there children about sex and the schools don’t either, they are just going to rely on the information they get from their friends and what they see in media.

    Educating our children is the job of the parent first and society second. In order to keep our daughters safe we need to do what ever it takes to keep them alive. They are our future.

  • avatar

    Colin

    My biggest concern is that this round of vaccination carries a price tag of over $400 per dose, and yet regular – and early – screening costs significantly less and is just as effective. As well, an early screening at a gynecologist can protect not only against HPV but of many other diseases. A much for cost effective – and beneficial – practice would be to educate the populace that regular visits to an obgyn are a good way to protect your health.

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