Thursday, August 09, 2007

Silly argument

I wasn't going to comment on news related items while I was on vacation. I figured I would only do a few blog updates on how the vacation was going and that was it. But when you hit upon something so radically stupid, it's hard to pass it up.

The mind-boggling stupid thing is this story which says the Newfoundland chapter of the Right To Life Association is against the provincial goverment's plan to start vaccinating Grade 6 girls against HPV, a virus that has been known to cause cancer. Their reasoning? That might give teenagers...

"a licence, a green light to go ahead and be sexually active … leading to a rise in sexually transmitted diseases and promiscuity in general."

Which, to my mind is a little like saying 2+2= car. Yes, it has four wheels, but the answer still doesn't make all that much sense.

It's been a few years since I was a teenager. I recall being stuck with needles when I was in Grade 9 and I don't really recall why. I suspect something similar will happen here. They're going to stick Grade 6 girls with needles, and there will be some crying and freaking out, but most will neither know nor care what the injection does. And it will certainly make no impact on their sexual decisions in the coming years.

I defy the Right to Life group to find me a teenager who will go "Well, now that I've had the HPV shot, I don't need to worry about pregnancy and sexual diseases anymore." Their brains do not work like that.

If you can get them to use birth control and condoms, that's 90% of your battle right there. And given that teen pregnancy rates have come down in recent decades, they must be doing something right at Sexual Health Centre.

Who are also right to say that RTL arguments are .silly.

I've tended to be more pro-choice myself, but I've never thought the debate on when life begins was a bad one to have. But honestly, if RTL groups are going to start making arguments against vaccines that could save lives and get into abstinence debates, then their credibility is going to take an even bigger hit.


David said...

This argument comes from the same mentality that opposes condoms in Africa leading to the death of tens of thousands from avoidable AIDS. The twisted morality is now looking to kill off a few Newfoundland women.

cafe fromage said...

How ridiculous. . .I just don't understand their logic. "Right To Life"...shouldn't that extend to a disease free life that already exists?

As a pro choice mother, I would rather see my daughter vaccinated, than to experience a preventable disease.

towniebastard said...

It's such an excessively bizarre argument that refuting it almost seems like a waste of time. If there were legitimate risks with getting the vaccine, I could almost understand. But their arguments are just...retarded.

Making these kinds of statements diminishes their organization as a whole. Perhaps many don't think much of them in the first place, but opposing a vaccine that might prevent cancer is not the way to win friends to your side.

Anonymous said...

The CBC headline was misleading. Our press release reads: "Therefore, the Right to Life Association encourages the government to present a strong message of abstinence along with the vaccination." There is a difference between opposed and concerned.


Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Concerns Over Government’s Human Papilloma Virus Vaccination Program

The Right to Life Association applauds the provincial government for showing concern for preteen girls by introducing a plan to vaccinate them against the human papilloma virus (HPV), a STD which could lead to cervical cancer. The Right to Life Association believes that this plan, while it has good intentions, is a cause for great concern because of its imperfections.

If the government was really concerned with the teenage STD infection rates, they would introduce an abstinence education program. The province’s current sex-ed curriculum may contain an abstinence element, but it is given only a fleeting mention, if any. The Right to Life Association has heard many complaints from parents, students, and teachers, that abstinence is not given enough attention in the school system. Many of those involved in the school system have asked for a comprehensive abstinence-ed curriculum.

As it stands now, the sex-ed curriculum may actually contribute to teenage pregnancy and STD infection rates. It could give children an impression that they have a green light to sexual activity. It can give them a false sense of security in their knowledge about the risks of sexual activity, resulting in them being less hesitant to engage in promiscuity. For example, HPV may be so widely spread because teens may not understand the instruction that condoms are not perfect. Clearly, a curriculum focusing on sex rather than abstinence does not work.

The HPV vaccination program may lead to the same result as contraception and sex-ed. If those receiving the vaccination are ill-informed about its limitations, they may embrace promiscuity more willingly. Therefore, the Right to Life Association encourages the government to present a strong message of abstinence along with the vaccination. It is through this message that these preteens can learn of the inherit value of their bodies, the sacred gift of sex, and the risks of promiscuity. Armed with this knowledge, preteens can truly begin to protect themselves from STDs such as HPV.


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