Saturday, March 03, 2007

A "moral" debate??

So, I've kind of been mulling over this article I read in our paper a couple of weeks ago. You can read the full article here. Basically, the article was saying that the new HPV vaccine ("Gardasil" is the name of the vaccine, and it prevents HPV which causes 70 percent of all cervical cancers) is causing a moral debate. In the article it quotes Dave Bydalek, father of 3 daughters ages 11, 12, and 15 (who won't be getting the vaccine) as saying:

"They won't need it"

See, "they've raised their children with good Christian values". And NO ONE like that EVER makes a mistake, or would ever get HPV, so they don't need something as easy as a shot to prevent CANCER.

Here's where it got 'good'

"But for certain young ladies. . .it's a good thing to have the vaccine."

No, seriously, that's what he said.

Now maybe they're right when they say that cervical cancer is not up there with Polio, and the measles and mumps in their times but I'm all about medical advancements. Isn't that what all these smarty pants scientists are FOR? Do we need to wait until it really is in epidemic proportions before we look for something that works? They say that some parents are upset at the recommendation of this vaccine for girls as early as 11 and 12, who may not have even had their first period or been fitted for their first bra yet. I would hope that these parents have had "the talk" well before this. It seems that this father is among those that think that giving them the vaccine is

"as good as giving her permission to have sex".

Oh, good, because you KNOW she'll come to you first and ASK permission.

I will say that I agree that there doesn't need to be a vaccination law (some are saying there should be a mandate to vaccinate all incoming middle school girls), but it may come to that someday. I'm fine with it being a parental decision for now, because I know what my decision will be.

So, are these parents crazy? Or am I? My daughters will get this vaccine, AND we'll have the talk about sex, AND continue the conversation about morality and our religious beliefs, AND our advice to them as their parents. I hope I have instilled in my children a good dose of self esteem and self worth and self awareness as well as a wonderful religious backing in all of those areas, but I'm not going say that my children are perfect, and will NEVER have pre-marital sex, or if they do wait, that they won't marry someone who has had sex before and may carry the virus. So, I don't think it's a "moral" debate. I think it's a "duh" debate. Something as easy as a shot could prevent your daughter from dying.

Moms/Dads of daughters (or sons) out there. . .whatcha think??


Christy said...

I read that article, too and thought the exact same thing about that dad!

I have a lot more time to think about this than you do so maybe by the time Eva is old enough for the vaccination, the debate will be over.

I'm all for vaccinations. In the autism arena it gets kind of heated. I, personally, don't think that vaccinations caused Caleb's autism. But, who am I to tell another mother I know that it didn't cause it in her own son (she's convinced that's what it was). I'm a little concerned she's not going to vaccinate any of her other kids now because of it.

As far as the HPV vaccination, only time will tell. But if I had to choose today, I'd give it to Eva. I'll also give it to her with a long lecture about abstinence.

I do hope it stays a parent's choice, though.

Audra said...

I would do anything and everything to keep my daughters healthy and I would like to think that my daughters would never 'need' the vaccination- but better safe than sorry. We are very open with the twins when ever they have questions about what ever and that will continue.
But from personal experience I can tell you this... I was raised in the church, I grew up extremely close to my mom and we were open with everything and despite all that I still decided to have sex before I was married. Ultimately its up to the girl and her situation- and with how times are changing and middleschoolers having babies- how can you not want your daughter get it? I think the father in the article is in denial...we all want our children to be perfect angels... its just that some of us know the difference between what we hope for and reality.

Kage said...

Wendy sue, I have been diagnosed with HPV two times (once when I was nursing and once when I was pregnant). I was really concerned about this b/c my husband and I are monogamous and have never had sexual relations outside each other. I learned two things from these diagnosis:
1. Cells can change with certain hormones (from nursing/pregnancy) and b/c they look slightly different, labs will just call it HPV even if it isn' there is a chance that I didn't really have it.
2. I was almost crying when my midwife told me I had it (again), and she said: "Nuns can have HPV"

So, I think that certainly women who are highly sexually active with multiple partners need to have the vaccine, but I also believe that a virus is a virus is a virus and even the most chaste (and I consider myself that) can get it.

And that is all I have to say.

wendysue said...

Kage, thank you for sharing that! I think I should forward it on to that father!!

I asked my midwife about it when it first came out, if that was something I needed to get. She said that it is recommended for girl/women ages 12-26 (or something like that), but certainly anyone that wanted to could recieve the vaccine. I figured I wouldn't but now you have me thinking twice . . . I think it's at least worth another conversation with my midwife.

AzĂșcar said...

I'm with you 100% wendysue. Anyone could make a mistake, make a choice their parents wouldn't agree with, be a victim, or become exposed in a variety of ways.
It's a vaccine, not a moral debate.

more caffeine, please said...

I'm glad you posted about this - I'm totally in agreement. And that guy might have daughter's who don't have sex before they're married, but can he guarantee the same for the husband they marry? They could be virgins at marriage and still become infected.

Melessa said...

I know I'm late to comment here (I'm here from Christy's blog), but I read this with great relief. While I agree that it shouldn't be mandated by law, I will want my girls to have this vaccine and I thought I might be the only Latter-Day Saint woman who felt that way.