Some good news today from Washington: Cervical Cancer Vaccine Is Approved
WASHINGTON, June 8 — Federal drug officials today announced the approval of a vaccine against cervical cancer that could eventually save thousands of lives in the United States and hundreds of thousands in the rest of the world each year.
Called Gardasil, the vaccine is the culmination of a 15-year scientific effort that began at the National Cancer Institute and a research center in Australia, and it may one day be seen as one of the great health advances of the early 21st Century.
Cervical cancer is the second-leading cause of death in women across the globe, affecting an estimated 500,000 women and killing 300,000 each year.
Widespread use of Pap smears in the developing world has reduced its toll there. In the United States, about 10,000 women contract cervical cancer each year, and some 3,700 die from it.
Unfortunately, the news isn't all good. The vaccine isn't cheap: according to the article, Merck plans to charge $120 for each of the three shots necessary for innoculation. Some children insured under federal health programs will get the shots; others, covered by less generous state programs, will not because of budget limitations--a dilemma that one doctor quoted in the piece characterizes as "a Sophie's Choice."
And of course, there are the--what's the technical term?--murderous pseudo-Christian psychopaths who'd prefer that nobody get innoculated, because then they could have dirty, dirty sex with impunity and immunity from cervical cancer, and apparently the Baby Jesus doesn't cry as much when slutty hellbound girls suffer and die as a result of their unauthorized fucking.
Think I'm being hyperbolic? Just read the quote:
Religious groups have expressed opposition to proposals to require vaccinations with Gardacil because cervical cancer is caused by a sexually transmitted virus.
"We can prevent it by the best public health method, and that's not having sex before marriage," said Linda Klepacki of Focus on the Family, a Christian advocacy organization based in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The thought process--I won't say "logic"--is pretty straightforward: these champions of family values don't want to innoculate children because doing so evidently would increase the odds that they'd "commit" pre-marital sex. The risk of cervical cancer, then, might decrease said odds. Presumably, the chance that one or two impressionable Carrie White types might be deterred from dirty dirty touching is worth however many dozens or hundreds who fail to tread God's Chosen Path of pre-marital celibacy.
Don't get me wrong: if parents don't want their child vaccinated in accordance with this worldview, I think that's a morally hideous choice... but one that's within their rights to make. What's not in any way defensible is these "Christians" deigning to make this decision for families of all beliefs and perspectives.
These people should be marginalized, scorned, and placed side by side in the public view with the Islamic theocrats whose repressive worldview they essentially mirror.