Having suitably offended everyone with his remarks about the elephant trampling and those crazy Hindus (he’s offended Christians and Muslims already, why not Hindus?) today your lovable Mr President returns to give more serious commentary on a news story that grabbed his interest this morning.
Quite frankly he’s surprised there’s as much controversy over this matter as there is. The choice seems rather straightforward, would you want your daughter to get cancer or not? The figures are pretty damning. HPV is present in 99.7% of cervical cancer cases. This isn’t like CO2 levels and global warming, this isn’t like smoking and lung cancer, this is almost perfect 1:1 correlation; HPV does cause cancer. The vaccine will be 99% effective against HPV. Do the maths and it’s a complete no-brainer.
So why 20% of UK parents would opt not to let their daughter be vaccinated is incredibly baffling, and seems idiotic in the extreme. Inoculation against a known killer just seems perfectly sensible and claims that it’s an invitation to promiscuity are not only wrong, they’re potentially dangerous if they’re putting parents off the jab. It almost certainly will save their daughter’s life, and will definitely prevent one siginificant threat to it.
The same arguments were made about contraception yet, as evidenced by the ever-increasing teenage pregnancy rate, those engaging in underage sex rarely use proper protection. This is worrying, of course, but proof that making contraception available to teenagers has made no impact on their sexual activity. Incidentally condoms are not particularly effective against HPV, making the vaccine even more essential.
Nor is that the only example. Very similar arguments were also made when abortion was first legalised but since then there has been no evidence of any correlation between abortion and promiscuity. In fact the rising number of teenage mothers suggests that abortion isn’t something pregnant teenagers particularly concern themselves with.
These sorts of myths have been around for a long time, and the blame lays squarely at Mr President’s favourite people, the churches. His issue isn’t with religion, per se, he thinks it’s a good thing, and personally finds some of the Christian values like forgiveness to be excellent morals to live one’s life by. His only problem comes when people abuse religion to scare people into submission. Faith comes from within.
Surely cervical cancer is no more of a deterrent than HIV (both are pretty deadly), yet teenagers are still having unprotected sex, so why would a lessened risk of cancer encourage them in any way? Perhaps it’s time we faced up to some (perhaps unpalatable for some parents) facts. Teenagers have sex for the same reason adults do, because they want to. It’s an evolutionary drive programmed in all of us.
Inoculation against HPV won’t encourage them. It will, however, save lives. Be smart.