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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Playing with the lives of young women and poor women.

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Gardasil, a vaccine that kills many forms of human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer, which kills about a 240,000 women worldwide each year; 4000 of these deaths are in the US. About 20 million people in the US carry the virus.

One would think that the HPV vaccine would be welcomed as a valuable public heath measure, and would get added immediately to the array of vaccinations given to schoolchildren in the US. Since HPV is transmitted sexually, however, that's not happening. Instead, the HPV vaccine has become a political football for the religious right, who maintain that if girls are vaccinated against HPV, they'll be more likely to have sex.

That specious argument, says Shark-fu, hides the real agenda of the religious right:

The current social conservative effort to keep the new HPV vaccine from being required for all school age girls and young women is an act of aggression in the war against America's founding beliefs...a war in which poor and/or minority women being used as human shields during battle.

This may be a war that is unfolding much like World War I, with unfortunate alliances and strategic mistakes resulting in massive loss of life and global devastation?but it is a war nonetheless.

The new HPV vaccine offers the prevention of cervical cancers caused by the HPV virus. The vaccine will save women?s lives. Requiring it as part of the overall required protocol for attendance to school — y?all remember all those fucking shots, right — would force the rather expensive shot to be offered through Medicaid. Poor women would then be able to get the shot.

Now treating cancer costs money, so no one in their right mind can argue that preventing the percent of cervical cancer cases that result from HPV infections violates the code of the fiscal conservative. Shit, they should be all over it!

But the social conservative?now that is another story. The social conservative, having long been allied with the no sex in the classroom except to discuss not having sex argument, went into reflex mode on the HPV vaccine. They took to the airwaves to preach that this vaccine simply should not be given to 10 and 11 year old young women because it would create a false sense of sexual freedom. Lawd, they cried, it would encourage sex before marriage....

This, my brothers and sisters, is the unspoken battle cry of the social conservative. Death, pain and illness are their weapons and they seek to defend marriage between one man and one woman and thus fortify their theocratic stronghold.

So, the next time someone questions why this bitch is knee deep in the marriage battle even though my happy ass has not intention of ever getting hitched this is my answer?

We are at war with a movement prepared to see us die rather than live outside of their strict moral code.

And 'traditional marriage' is a front for theocratic control over our bodies, minds and lives.
[Emphasis mine]

It's good to read someone who doesn't mince their words in describing the despicable tactics of the religious right regarding the HPV vaccine. Go read the rest of the post here.

Via AngryBlackBitch.

| | Posted by Magpie at 4:25 PM | Get permalink




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