The governor in Texas recently signed a bill ordering all girls to get inoculated at age 12 against cervical cancer. In his defense, he claims that in the long run, this will save lives and save money, as the cost of inoculating the population would be less than the amount that would be spent on treating the outbreaks.
I never thought I’d say this, but the governor of Texas is exactly right. The religious right has seized this issue and claimed that following such a course would only make teens more sexually active. To those who have such a belief, I want to point out the slippery slope that they step on when they make such a proclamation.
Cervical cancer is just one of many sexually transmitted diseases. As we speak, millions and millions of dollars are being spent on curing HIV and AIDS. Should we not be investing so much money into such a cure? One can say that if a cure were developed, it would also encourage underage sexual activity. I would hope to think that conservatives can look to the fact that 2.4 million people died of AIDS in the year 2000 alone, and decide that it would be in the best interest of the public to find a cure (or even a treatment). Cervical cancer may not be quite as deadly, but any treatment for a disease is a step in the right direction.