The Washington Post had an article today about how schools in D.C. and Virginia are "requiring" girls entering 6th grade to receive the HPV vaccine (Gardasil) There is an opt-out: In Virginia, you can just not get the shot, but in D.C. parents must fill out a form.
But of course, "opt-out" has already been lost on some. A quote from the article:
"It wasn't really a choice," Haggans said while waiting in line at Kelly Miller Middle School during one of the District's free immunization clinics Thursday. Lanise received her second of three doses of the HPV vaccine at the clinic. "The school said she needed it, so I got her it," Haggans said.
So even though it isn't actually required, some parents will still think it is, or simply go along with it, and get the three shots -- kaching! that's another $375 in Merck's pocket!
Well, my daughters will not be getting the HPV vaccine, even though I am a big advocate of vaccines -- for easily communicable diseases. My daughters don't need a shot for something that is sexually transmitted.
I believe that there should be some mandates to protect the public at large -- but only for diseases that can be spread by casual contact and are potentially deadly. The government has no right to require protection from something you can only catch from sexual contact, potentially risking a bad reaction which has included paralysis and some deaths that can't be explained.
Jessica Varga of Nevada became paralyzed hours after receiving a dose of Gardasil.
I'm not so worried that my daughters will become promiscuous if they get this shot. Whereas, I think young women do avoid sex for fear of getting pregnant and some for fear of getting AIDS, I can't imagine too many are thinking about other sexually transmitted diseases or cancer when they're deciding whether or not to have sex.
But I do take exception to the notion that our schools and our government are assuming that young girls will inevitably become sexually active so soon that they feel that girls as young as nine need this shot. Even entering sixth grade these girls aren't even twelve -- and they're already being set up to have sex at a young age?
These proponents of Gardasil actually think they are empowering young women to take control of their sexual health. Not from where I stand.
My daughters will be truly empowered. They will be taught that it's best not to have sex until marriage, and all the reasons why. They will unequivocally believe that their sexuality is so special it is not to be trifled with, that no boy should ever be allowed to attack their self-esteem or trick them to think otherwise. A truly empowered young woman would never have sex unless under the best of conditions, practically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, etc etc -- and not before they're at least eighteen.
If they do decide otherwise -- after they're out of high school, in a long-term monogamous relationship with someone whose health history they are fully aware of, and after full discussion and consideration of possible repercussions -- I will have taught them that they should be examined by a doctor first, and then they can make any health care decisions for themselves. (They will also be encouraged not to use an abortifacient to prevent pregnancy, and they will base their decision knowing that sooner or later they will get pregnant... but that's another blog post.)
What's really going on here is the bigger agenda of sex without consequences. Gardasil, birth control, abortion -- all being shoved down the throats of young women while trying to convince them they are "taking control of their sexuality." Sounds more like certain sexually liberal advocates are trying to convince everyone -- most importantly themselves -- that recreational behavior that can damage you both body and soul, and potentially can create another human being, can be alright if you simply get shots, pop pills, and undergo "procedures."
I'm not buying it -- and neither will my daughters.
Gardasil can also vaccinate men, though it has not yet been approved by the FDA to be marketed as such. Isn't it interesting that once again the responsibility of preventing sexual consequences is placed on young women? Why don't radical feminists have a problem with this, like traditional feminists do?
Update: Apparently the FDA has now approved Gardasil for males, as of October 16, 2009. So when will liberal groups push for young men to get vaccinated? Doesn't matter, my son will not be participating either...