In response to March 26th Washington Post editorial, “Needed Protection”

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

To: Washington Post Editorial Board

Re: March 26th editorial “Needed Protection

I commend you for recognizing the denial that is taking place over the need for the HPV vaccine in today’s upper echelons of decision making.  When I first learned of this issue several months ago I was shocked to read that the vaccine was being shelved because the current administration’s position was that the vaccine would encourage promiscuity in young girls.  I have never understood how educated people can, in all good conscience, be so blind to reality as to advocate abstinence-only education as the final solution to teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.  I find myself boiling at the premise that we should withhold a vaccine that can prevent a percentage of the population from developing certain types of cancer, an incurable disease, simply because someone somewhere is afraid it might encourage them to have sex.  And I’ll not even go into the issue of our largely male-controlled administration making this decision that affects only women.  It seems the one’s making this decision are safe in their knowledge that they are not the one’s who have to live with its consequences.  This is an obvious attempt to hand down a moral mandate from those whose sole concern should be our governance and not dictating our private lives.  I completely understand the squeamishness that surrounds making decisions related to the sex lives of young children (I’m a parent myself), but that should not prevent us from taking the necessary steps to protect our young girls from a wide-spread STD that could lead to the development of cancer.  The “head-in-the-sand” mentality that surrounds availability of condoms, family planning, and sex education only serves to harm our children in the long run.  Even if we feel that we should be teaching them otherwise, which I am completely behind informing them of wiser choices, to ignore the realities of our children’s lives makes us culpable for the consequences of their then uninformed decisions.  Our children cannot learn to make adult choices unless we give them the information necessary to do so.



Adevarul prin Cuvinte 

J. Demster


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