Better My Daughter Die Than Signal “Sex is Ok”
If adolescent girls are given the HPV vaccine to guard against cervical cancer, will they be more likely to have sex? Some worry they will, and are pushing to keep girls from getting
I’ve never understood the concern.
I suspect few girls or women think much about the sex/cancer relationship. So how would inoculation make sexual activity more likely? “Oh, now I won’t get cancer, so I’ll have sex!” Who cares about STDs or pregnancy (which is what girls are much more likely to worry about).
Maybe parents fear that signing a consent form is tantamount to giving their okay to adolescent sex. All the more reason to allow girls to get vaccinated without parental consent.
And besides, a girl could end up getting cancer from HPV without ever having consensual sex outside marriage. She could be raped, or her husband could have an affair and transmit the disease to her in that way.
Still, it’s been a huge fuss in the conservative ranks. But why do so many conservatives feel that girls’ and women’s lives are not worth saving?
Right now, political fights revolve around limiting girls’ or women’s access to: the HPV vaccine, cancer screenings, tests for STDs — including H.I.V., nutrition programs for women and children, and Topeka, Kansas recently decriminalized domestic violence, saying they couldn’t afford it. Most recently the House passed HR 358, the “protect life” but kill women act, under which hospitals could refuse to perform emergency abortions even when a woman’s life is threatened by her pregnancy.
But back to the HPV controversy. Why would some parents risk their daughter’s death to send a signal about sex?
And is sex really so bad?