Be My Valentine - have the HPV Vaccine, sweetheart

“Be My Valentine” takes on new meaning when we inoculate little girls for a virus only contracted in sexual contact – which vaccine is now mandated under Virginia law. Parents may want to consider how to empower their little girls age 9-12 and their teens to make good sexual decisions that last for a lifetime.

The law mandates the Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine for middle school girls, and is characterized as a vaccine that may help prevent cervical cancer. The mandate impliedly assumes sexual activity among very young girls. Age nine and up, in fact. While most nine year old girls are still much more interested in climbing trees, Virginia and many other states want to give our little girls a Valentine – the HPV vaccine. The thinking is to encourage inoculation early before these little girls become sexually active. Sexually active nine year olds? Most parents still do not encourage their 19 year old unmarried daughters (or sons for that matter) toward an active sexual life, knowing the host of concerns and dangers (physically, emotionally, socially and professionally) that could enter their child’s world as a result. Kids may know them all too well also.

Parents and kids who have thought through and talked through the holistic nature of sexuality were relieved when the bill was amended to allow parents and their little girls to opt out. “Although health care providers have hailed the vaccine as a major breakthrough in the prevention of cervical cancer, there has been an undercurrent of concern about young girls being vaccinated against a sexually transmitted disease.”

According to the CDC, cervical cancer is caused by what’s now considered a type of common virus, human papillomavirus, or HPV. Genital HPV is contracted by sexual activity involving genital contact (intercourse is not necessarily required), is easily transmitted, so any exposure can put a non-carrier at risk. In fact, according to the CDC, the only way you can totally protect yourself against HPV is to avoid any sexual activity that involves genital contact. A brochure produced by pharmaceutical giant Merck explains that the CDC recommends a few things that can be done to decrease chances of contracting HPV, two of the foremost of which are limiting sexual partners, and staying in a long-term relationship with someone who doesn’t have HPV.

This vaccine is being offered to assist in diminishing the likelihood of cervical cancer, but it wrongly assumes all girls and boys will have sex in their teens – or at least have sexual contact. It is premised on the ideology that the only way to live is to expect to be sexually active at a very young age, and more than likely, not in a secure stable environment that will constitute a lifetime relationship. Furthermore, it assumes young girls cannot or will not think thru their own sexuality with any sense of morality or emotional consequence of sexual encounters. It assumes natural instinct and biology always control over personal common and moral sense. It essentially assumes promiscuity.

Moreover, this drug carries grave concerns. Women and girls have died after taking the vaccine. To read the full story, go to http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,325470,00.html?sPage=fnc/health/sexualhealth

According to PharmaLive, the website that calls itself the pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry, GlaxoSmithKline’s form of the vaccine, CERVARIX, and Merck’s GARDASIL are doing a head-to-head trial of their drugs to compare immune responses. These HPV vaccines are just one year old, and still being studied. The vaccine wards against only 4 of the nearly 100 HPV strains. Yet, people are dying over this mandatory vaccine. A state mandate that kills its citizens ought to be reconsidered immediately.

Yet ten states have subjugated family strength and a sense of personal responsibility on the part of teens. A culture saturated with sexuality reaps outcomes never before imagined. Essentially, the HPV vaccine for girls effectively serves to further exploit children by more than pharmaceutical companies. My law students at Regent University realize their decisions reap consequences, personally and professionally, for them and their families. Laws we decide to adopt may also have unintended consequences.

Adults, particularly moms and dads, must be encouraged to be responsible for the children they love by believing in them as much more than succumbing sexual beings. Character building is the stuff parenting is made of. Jumping to the assumption that a little girl will certainly become sexually active and therefore likely to contract HPV, and therefore more likely to contract cervical cancer is focused on cutting off the problem at the earliest age, rather than empowering teens to make good decisions based on sound reasoning that is not controlled by mere sexual instinct. Somehow we lull ourselves into thinking sexual activity is void of anything but physical consequences, or we’ll make it so. This legislation is the latest attempt to strip responsible individuals of their own decision making and autonomy. There are still teens and adults who have chosen to have the safest sex possible – with their awaited marriage partner only. Little girls and little boys can and do chose to save sexual encounters until marriage. Recent statistics show that those who are sexually pure before marriage will be sexually faithful during marriage, and reap a divorce rate of far under the national 40% average. The HPV vaccine and supporting legislation will not reap marital fidelity, but further family breakdown.

When states endorse early sexuality these issues are forced on kids who aren’t even ready to think about sex. Peer pressure on kids to become sexually active is already burdensome in high school, yet this mandate has moved toward pushing middle school sexuality, revealing our deeper moral void. Law makers hope to empower Virginians to be decent and honorable and healthy, yet they pass laws that strip us of the ability to be personally responsible. In his commentary on education entitled The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis noted that we create individuals with no moral core when we strip them of the values required to make a good decision. “…Such is the tragic-comedy of our situation – we continue to clamor for those very qualities we are rendering impossible… drive… dynamism…self-sacrifice…creativity. In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the gelding be fruitful.” Gardisil is not saving our little girls – its killing them.

Professor Kohm teaches and publishes on matters of family law at Regent Law. Her latest book, Family Manifesto: What Went Wrong with the Moral Basis for the Family and How to Restore it, has been released by W.S. Hein Co.

1 comment:

  1. The assumption on the part of our culture that "kids are just going to have sex anyway and there's nothing we can do about it" is not only dangerous for the physical, mental, and emotional health of young people, but it's completely wrong. Most, if not all, foregoing generations in America prior to the mid-20th century had far fewer instances of sexual intercourse among teenagers (relative to the population of course) than we do today because the culture, and parents, almost universally frowned upon it. The fact of the matter is, children can be taught how to restrain their natural instincts. People are not animals; self-control (to at least some degree) has been the social reality in the majority of cultures in the past.