By now we should all be familiar with the traditional anti-vax crowd. After all, they’ve been responsible for a number of deaths. But there is a secondary anti-vax crowd. These are the people who don’t object to vaccines based upon their unscientific views but instead because of their religion and conservatism:
Bypassing the Legislature altogether, Republican Gov. Rick Perry issued an order Friday making Texas the first state to require that schoolgirls get vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.
By employing an executive order, Perry sidestepped opposition in the Legislature from conservatives and parents’ rights groups who fear such a requirement would condone premarital sex and interfere with the way Texans raise their children.
Of course the usual suspects are out in force opposing Perry’s (rare) good decision, but the religious right is just as present. The concern is an illegitimate one: they believe their kids will start boning up a storm now that they don’t have those pesky cancer concerns, to put it gracefully. But as we know from failed abstinence-only programs and other pro-ignorant policies, keeping kids away from education and various safety methods only causes harm. Besides, does anyone think cervical cancer is really a big concern for kids who want to have sex? And even if it is, do we want to put them at risk? Think about it. These conservatives want to keep their kids from getting this vaccine because they think the threat of cancer is better than the idea that their kids might lose their virginity. Put in that light, these people are monstrous.
I’ve long been of the position that the general public absolutely does not appreciate the danger of cancer. I don’t know if it’s the “It won’t happen to me” mentality or if it’s general ignorance or if it’s something else, but there really is no appreciation. While Gov. Perry probably made his decision based upon lobbying efforts and campaign donations, we do ultimately have a decision that can be appreciated and lauded by the scientific community. This is good for Texas and its young girls, and I’m glad to see it happen.