Gov. Rick Perry is still drawing a barrage of criticism for signing on executive order almost two weeks ago forcing Texan parents to vaccinate their adolescent daughters against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus.
Perry rationalized, according to the Houston Chronicle, "If the medical community developed a vaccine for lung cancer, would the same critics oppose it, claiming it would encourage smoking?"
I have considered that analogy myself. It is perfect. Lung cancer is predominantly caused by a destructive behavior, cigarette smoking, which also causes a myriad of other health problems.
So to answer Perry's question, everyone would welcome a lung cancer vaccine, but wouldn't turn around and say, "Great, let's all smoke!" Because we know smoking causes other cancers like laryngeal, esophageal, stomach and pancreatic as well as health problems like heart disease and infertility.
Furthermore, this behavior endangers the health of other people who come in contact with the smoker, like babies born with low birth weight.
Interestingly, the most ardent critics of smoking are lawmakers, who have increasingly sought to discourage this destructive behavior by making it more difficult.
HPV is also the consequence of a destructive behavior, sex outside of marriage.....
Continue reading my WorldNetDaily.com column today, "The link between HPV and smoking."
As a Texas OB/GYN I have had a lot of conversations with patients recently about the HPV vaccine. Your editorial hits it pretty much on the head. This is a behavior issue and comparing it to smoking is not a bad analogy.
Plus, I have argued that 1) We have "given up" as a nation when abstinence education isn't even considered; 2) There is some uneasiness I have about the HUGE financial windfall for Merck (financially struggling?) and it's somewhat interesting past ties to our governor (call me cynical) and 3) The science is still a little "fuzzy" - at least to me - only 4 years of protection? Are we going to now select out a new virulent strain? Do patients feel more "secure" about STD's ("at least it's not cancer")?
Thanks for your editorial and for your constant fight to protect the unborn.Posted by: Dr. Tim at February 14, 2007 1:12 PM
I'm still waiting for someone to label as sexist the policy of mandatory vaccination of girls. Don't they get HPV from boys? Why not require boys to be vaccinated to reduce the risk of infecting girls?Posted by: Jake at February 14, 2007 1:15 PM
Doc, your points are great. Re: 1) the abortion/free sex lobby has sold the nation a bill of goods on sex ed; 2) I won't call you cynical if you don't call me cynical; 3) Exactly. Plus I think this shot is going to give women a false sense of security. We have trouble now getting women to go in for their PAP smears. I think this will give them even less reason to do so.Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 14, 2007 1:16 PM
Great column! Thank you for exposing this atrocity.Posted by: Judie Brown at February 14, 2007 1:18 PM
I know you'll get plenty of negative mail for your column about the HPV vaccine. I want to say THANK YOU for articulating your opinion (and mine!) so well.
Too many people do not think--they react emotionally to the problem and arrive at what amounts to a band-aid on a wound that cuts to the bone.
Thank you for presenting a clear, rational analysis of the message sent by these so-called vaccines. The scenario is the same when people talk about "safe sex": no condom or diaphragm will protect a person from all the harm of a profligate life.
Fight the good fight!Posted by: Brenda S. at February 14, 2007 2:09 PM
My dad was a smoker and died of lung cancer at the age of 44. I agree with Rush Limbaugh, however, when he calls the anti-smoking movement the anti-smoking Gestapo. Hitler was very much against smoking as well.
The government, whether it be local, state, or federal, should just stay out of the debate of smoking.
Smoking is one of the few issues, though, where liberals can actually make a moral stand against, and of course Republicans also then try to be politically correct about smoking.Posted by: Clay B. at February 14, 2007 2:11 PM
I believe the reason for that rapid dissemination of the HPV vaccine is twofold. Yes, for it is to promote sex without consequences. But it is also to protect the NEA and others who have pushed and promoted "safe sex" on our children for more than a generation. They knew even as they did it condoms did not protect against HPV and now realize they could be sued by these girls who are dying from cervical cancer.
Legal organizations, who have all along believed abstinence was the only safe behavior, should contact these women with cervical cancer and families of those who have already died for a class action lawsuit against the NEA and ACLU who forced this lie on them to begin with.
Tobacco paid big time for it's knowing about dangers and promoting smoking anyway. This is no different.
Cindy, I would add that someday we should expect a class action lawsuit against all those organizations and more on the cover-up on the connection between abortion and breast cancer.Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 14, 2007 2:16 PM
Great article, Jill. The libs don't want to hear stuff like this.
But I would add just one more thing, and that is another reason they don't want to hear the truth -- perhaps the most important reason? -- is that they don't want to serve our Lord. And because of this, they don't like it when others are their conscience; it hits too close to home! Keep up the good work.Posted by: Gene at February 14, 2007 2:18 PM
You could have saved a lot of time arguing with our liberal "friends" by simply saying, "Legislators who vote for this proposal are in the pocket of the medical industry and 'Big Drug' companies." :)
Thank you so much for your informative article on this vaccination. I turned it down at my pediatrician when I took my daughter in for her physical, expressing that she no need of it.
She then told me that if she had an adolescent daughter she would certainly make sure she got vaccinated. I said, thanks, but no thanks. It is being assumed that all teens are just going to go out and become sexually active, so let's prepare them.
I shared that my daughter and I have spoken of God's plan for her future when it comes to sex.
I wish I would have had all of this other information you speak of at the time. Thank you, thank you.Posted by: Evelyn at February 14, 2007 2:58 PM
Evelyn, I'm trying to phrase this with some respect for you and your daughter. I mean no disrespect. I have a daughter myself, although she's older now.
"God's plan" for your daughter might change over the years, or her desire to live up to God's plans might change. Or, she might just decide to have sex once or twice before she gets married, to someone who has had sex once or twice to someone else. It happens.Posted by: Gary at February 14, 2007 5:17 PM
If you are pro-life you should support Governor Perry. The HPV vaccine could save 600 lives each year in Texas. The 16,000 member Christian Medical Association favors make the HPV vaccination mamdatory.Posted by: Royal Masset at February 14, 2007 7:59 PM
Your statement about the CMA is inaccurate. I think you're referring to its Feb. 7 press release, which can be read here.
I just called the contact person on the press release, Margie Shealy, and she gave me this statement:
We do not oppose a mandate. It's not that we support it, but we do not oppose it, as long as there is an easy opt-out. It's not like we're encouraging a mandate.
The reason why we do not oppose it is many of the more vulnerable people who need the HPV vaccine wouldn't get it without it being mandated. With the mandate, it's more available through public health systems.Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 14, 2007 8:05 PM
Today's article on HPV was brilliant!
I take every chance I can get when this subject comes up on local talk radio to complain of the lack of information about HPV being contracted through sexual activity. The legislators pushing this thing sure don't. Just the other day, I piped in on the air, and the next four women callers after me had the same opinion of the mandatory vaccination. I was so heartened by this (especially in this state, Vermont).
Our legislature has introduced a bill for mandatory vaccination for entering sixth grade. Over my dead body.....
Sex outside of marriage isn't the only way HPV is spread. Anybody who claims to be pro-life should be supportive of a vaccine that has the potential to SAVE LIVES.Posted by: joy1982 at February 15, 2007 10:11 AM
Joy, let's explore that. Share some ways and stats that HPV is spread by other means.Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 15, 2007 10:14 AM
To complete the analogy between smoking as a behavior and a vaccine for lung cancer, proponents of the vaccine would have us continue the destructive behavior, but encourage us to use filtered cigarettes. As you have noted, it will not protect against ALL strains of the virus, so it will be met with diminishing returns. Regarding any government body mandating the vaccine: that is also obscene behavior! Politicians do that kind of thing simply because they can, but why do Americans put up with it? Don't they like freedom anymore? Is it too much of a bother these days?Posted by: Dr. Brian at February 15, 2007 12:01 PM
Great correlation on the filtered cigarettes, Dr.Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 15, 2007 12:23 PM