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Tuesday, November 1, 2005

W Stands for Dead Women

Posted by on November 1 at 11:23 AM

As I wrote a few months ago in Savage Love, some folks are opposed to the introduction of a vaccine for two strains of HPV, the virus that causes genital wart and can also cause cervical cancer in women. HPV infections that lead to cervical cancer kill 4000 American women every year. Who could possibly be against the introduction of a vaccine—one that has proven 100% effective in clinical tests!—that will save thousands of women’s lives every year? Why, those “culture of lifeā€¯ assfucks, of course. From yesterday’s Washington Post:

A new vaccine that protects against cervical cancer has set up a clash between health advocates who want to use the shots aggressively to prevent thousands of malignancies and social conservatives who say immunizing teen-agers could encourage sexual activity.

Docs want all girls to receive the vaccine as a matter of routine when they hit puberty. The religious right is opposed to that. Why?

Because the vaccine protects against a sexually transmitted virus, many conservatives oppose making it mandatory, citing fears that it could send a subtle message condoning sexual activity before marriage…. “I’ve talked to some who have said, ‘This is going to sabotage our abstinence message,’ ” said Gene Rudd, associate executive director of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations.

There’s a problem with the right’s abstinence message. It doesn’t work. Young men and women still have sex, and kids who have been subjected to abstinence-only education, the right’s preferred brand, have more sex than kids who aren’t subjected to abstinence-only sex ed. So what the right is saying is this: We’re willing to kill American women in order to avoid “sabotaging” our lying , ineffectual, backfiring abstinence-only message.

And who gets to determine the government’s position on the HPV vaccine? And who gets to decide who gets it? And when they get it? Thanks to George W. Bush, the Christian fundies do. From the Washington Post:

The jockeying [around the HPV vaccine] reflects the growing influence social conservatives, who had long felt overlooked by Washington, have gained on a broad spectrum of policy issues under the Bush administration. In this case, a former member of the conservative group Focus on the Family serves on the federal panel that is playing a pivotal role in deciding how the vaccine is used.

W stands for women—that’s what he told us when he ran for president. But, hey, it wasn’t a lie. George W. Bush never said anything about standing for live women.