But because HPV is an STD, some fundamentalists oppose it because it might promote non-marital sex. From the Family Resource Center's website:
But there is always a behavioral prevention available for sexually transmitted diseases: abstinence until marriage and fidelity within marriage. Although we support research on vaccines and medicines against diseases, including sexually transmitted ones, we see potential harm in giving young people vaccines against STDs. First, young people are risk-takers; they may think a vaccination is a license to engage in premarital sex. Second, vaccinations may help to reduce the risk of one disease, but young people may be exposed to new and unknown risks. Third, there is no vaccination for ailments of the heart. What will protect young people from the loneliness and regret they are likely to experience after premarital sex? Abstinence is the best medicine available for STDs; no one has ever needed a vaccine or antibiotic to treat a case of abstinence.
While that's their general position, they have also specifically come out against an HPV vaccine. If any fundamentalist happens to be out there and agrees with the FRC (among others), I have several questions:
- Assuming a vaccine, why do you think behavior would change? It seems to me that if one's opposition to pre-marital sex is tied to beliefs rather than risks (putting aside the presence of plenty of risks even if HPV is eradicated), nothing would change.
- Lots of people are going to engage in pre-marital and extra-marital sex regardless of the other people's religious beliefs -- are you saying it's better that such folks (a.k.a., sinners) die than allow a vaccine? What about the spouse of an adulterer, who doesn't even know about a cheating husband until it's too late?
- The overarching question -- why do many fundamentalists feel that they need to decide morality for everyone, rather than let God be the judge?
- (Combining #2 & 3) How certain are you that God would rather one spouse of an adulterer die than save the lives of sinners?
Still on the topic of pre-marital sex, but on the Catholic side of the ledger, a pregnant student was banned from her Catholic high school graduation (she was allowed to graduate, just not attend the ceremony). I'm most disgusted by the hypocrisy embodied by the school doing this while permitting that the father of the child to attend graduation. I can't help but wonder if she would have been allowed to attend the ceremony if she'd gotten an abortion.