Thursday, June 29, 2006


Cancer, as we know it, is one of the most dreaded diseases known to Man. While cervical cancer afflicts specifically women, it is one of the most common forms of cancer known to women, and believe you me that these type of cancer is particularly dangerous, because my mum was stricken with this type of cancer, and she had to endure a painful surgery plus months of chemotherapy.

And, according to a recent news article, the scientific community has found a vaccine to deter this deadly disease, and it has proven to be very effective, so far.

Suffice to say, this is joyous news. Now, why, you would ask, am I so damn bloody mad?

Because the Conservatives, once again, are going ape over what they deem as "an erosion of morals".

Excerpts from San Francisco Bay Guardian:

Sex vs. death

Will the religious right stymie the first-ever cancer vaccine?
By Tali Woodward

One might think a medical breakthrough that could prevent most cases of cervical cancer would be met uniformly with joy.

Think again.

Two separate but similar vaccines for human pampillomavirus, a sexually transmitted infection that is the primary cause of cervical cancer, have recently been developed. In clinical tests they have proven to be shockingly effective. Medical researchers say the vaccines, if administered routinely, could virtually eradicate the second most fatal type of cancer in women.

The problem is this: It makes sense to administer the vaccine to women who haven't yet been exposed to HPV – in other words, women who haven't had sex. The best way to do that is to inoculate preteen girls. But some conservatives see the vaccine as an invitation to be promiscuous – and are gearing up to limit its reach.

Even though many people have never heard of HPV, it's the most common sexually transmitted infection around, infecting up to 80 percent of Americans at some point before they turn 50.

Public health officials have found stemming the spread of HPV particularly challenging because it can be transmitted simply through the contact of skin in affected areas, with condoms offering only limited protection.

Most women have immune systems strong enough to kill HPV. But in some, HPV causes genital warts. And in others, the virus causes potentially cancerous cells to develop in the cervix. (It's possible, though significantly less common, for HPV to cause cancer in men.)

Cervical cancer – which researchers believe is almost always tied to HPV – kills more than a quarter million women each year. Women who live in developed countries where regular Pap smears are the norm are fairly well-protected because the test can detect precancerous cells that doctors can then remove. Still, in the United States about 3,900 mostly lower-income women die of the disease each year.

But in recent years, two pharmaceutical companies, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, have announced development of a vaccine – administered in three doses over six months – that protects against HPV, and therefore against cervical cancer. In clinical tests both have proven extraordinarily effective: They blocked contraction of the two most dangerous types of HPV in every woman who had been inoculated.

Dr. Joel Palefsky, a UC San Francisco professor who is an expert on HPV, said he thinks the development of these vaccines is "the most important thing since sliced bread in the HPV business" and something that ranks high on any list of recent medical advances.

But not everyone is greeting the vaccine with such enthusiasm.

Conservative groups, including the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and the National Abstinence Clearinghouse, have already suggested that vaccinating young girls would send them a message that premarital sex is acceptable. Christian-oriented Web sites have also been following objections to the vaccines more closely than mainstream news organizations.

"Concerned Women for America"? They should perhaps call themselves "Witch-hunters of America". Seriously, what is going on through the minds of these narrow-minded baffoons?

Does anyone, anyone at all, in the fundamentalist groups that have any idea as to what they are objecting? So, am I to say that the procedure to reduce short-sightedness in people will encourage more people to play more computer games, which is one of the major causes of short-sightedness?

This is one of the primary reasons why I ardously support the Church-State Separation: When both co-mingle, you get the worst kind of ignorant crap and rubbish from these pious fools.

A vaccine that would otherwise have saved a huge portion of the 3900 people dying from this dreaded disease is abandoned, because some religious nut opposes it: This really takes the cut.

And they could jolly well do that, as the writer continues:

But if conservatives interfere with the CDC process, or prevent government funding of the HPV shots, access to this breakthrough vaccine could be seriously curtailed.

Alan Kaye, who became the executive director of the National Cervical Cancer Coalition after the disease killed his wife, told us he hopes critics of the vaccine back down. "I can tell you, with a ripped heart, that anyone who's ever battled cancer themselves or with family or friends would be for it," he said. "I mean, how can you not be for a cancer vaccine?"

I totally agree and concur with Alan Kaye's views. Allowing these religious nuts to bushwack their way to get a potential vaccine banned is no less evil than denying standard health treatment for the general public.

It seems to me that the fundamental right might want to cease this opportunity to assuage some of the wounded pride suffered in the recent ID Dover trial. But to choose this as a platform to launch another one of those silly campaigns is terribly sick; it really goes to show how low these idiots are willing to stoop just to achieve their godly purposes.

It is time for atheists to stand united and say "NO" to these kind of bullshit, especially when innocent lives are concerned.

The Beast


Kate said...

Knowing slightly how these nutcases operate, I daresay they feel that those women who choose to have premartial sex deserve the cervical cancer they get, as God's punishment--and if blocking a vaccine kills some of the innocent, then so be it...after all, anything for the cause, right?

As a woman and a human being, I am both physically and morally sick to my stomach. I'd say the party can't go any lower but I'd hate to invite them to prove me wrong. What next--revoking the FDA approval of Tylenol because it's a mind-altering substance and promotes drug use?

Darren said...

If you trust the Bay Area Guardian to be a reliable source of news, you're sadly mistaken.

And how many people are actually proposing that girls not be innoculated? Seven? How much influence do they truly have?


Anonymous said...

Doesn't it seem a little irresponsible to immediately start shooting a brand new vaccine into every young female in the country?

Seems like it might be wise to study the long term effects first.