George W. Bush’s War On Human Life, Part MMMMMDCCCXLVI

Vaccinations for contagious diseases like measles and mumps are required before a child can enter public school. That won’t be the case with the HPV vaccine, however. The Bush Administration, its allies on Capitol Hill, and the religious base of the Republican Party are opposed to mandatory HPV vaccinations. They prefer to rely on education programs that promote abstinence from sexual activity, and see the HPV vaccine as a threat to that policy. For years, conservatives have regarded the human papillomavirus as a kind of index of promiscuity. Many abstinence supporters argue that eliminating the threat of infection would only encourage teenagers to have sex.

…Religious conservatives are unapologetic; not only do they believe that mass use of an HPV vaccine or the availability of emergency contraception will encourage adolescents to engage in unacceptable sexual behavior; some have even stated that they would feel similarly about an H.I.V. vaccine, if one became available. “We would have to look at that closely,” Reginald Finger, an evangelical Christian and a former medical adviser to the conservative political organization Focus on the Family, said. “With any vaccine for H.I.V., disinhibition” — a medical term for the absence of fear — “would certainly be a factor, and it is something we will have to pay attention to with a great deal of care.” Finger sits on the Centers for Disease Control’s Immunization Committee, which makes those recommendations.

The full New Yorker article, about the Bush Administration’s war on human health, on scientific research, on individual scientists, on publicly available information, and more broadly on objective reality, is not available online. However, an interview with the author, Michael Specter, is.

6 Responses to “George W. Bush’s War On Human Life, Part MMMMMDCCCXLVI”

  1. Hmmm, it appears…and I COULD be wrong about this…that Bush is a total dick! I never really noticed it about the guy before. Oh wait. Yes, yes I did already know he was a dick. Okay, so this is not that surprising. But thanks for reminding me, EV.

    Proud Self-Loather · March 7th, 2006 at 3:33 pm
  2. My mom has cervical cancer. Which we now know is caused by the HPV virus. I sincerely hope that Reginald Finger’s daughter or mother gets cervical cancer. I really do. Even with the Chofetz Chaim staring at me, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wishing cancer on these people. I mean, in an ideal world, it would be Reginald Finger’s cervix I’d be cursing, but, you can’t have everything, especially a cancer vaccine, apparently. Crazy world, huh?

    rokhl · March 7th, 2006 at 8:18 pm
  3. So, once we have an HIV vaccine, people will just be, like, having sex in the street and stuff?

    I can’t wait!

    Brittney · March 8th, 2006 at 3:36 pm
  4. rokhl, sorry to hear about your mom. Good luck and best wishes.

    Proud Self-Loather · March 8th, 2006 at 4:09 pm
  5. That’s what happens when you give your children silly names. Reginald Finger=cranky ol’ thing.

    Siviyo · March 8th, 2006 at 5:19 pm
  6. hmm- as someone meandering her way into the field of public health, this is quite interesting and something i never thought about. clearly mr. finger et al’s reasoning is crazy- we don’t want to use preventable yet fatal diseases as deterrents to sex, but at the same time, as someone who’s not excited about adding even more vaccinations to the slew of required ones, i don’t think that if that time comes they should be required. i still think they should be voluntary, much like hepatitis and some other vaccinations remain, that are preventable in other ways. i mean some people just aren’t interested in non-monagamous sex (or blood transfusions…..ok, so my point is a little shoddy) and i don’t think anyone should be required to be injected with virus, live or dead.

    AW · March 9th, 2006 at 3:31 pm

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"I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of kavod habriyot, for beloved is man for he is created in the image of God." —Rav Joseph Soloveitchik