The development of a vaccine that could prevent most cases of cervical cancer is such good news that even the usual suspects among the religious zealots who influence Bush administration policy didn’t try to stop yesterday’s FDA approval.
The catch with this vaccine, aside from its expense, is that for it to be effective it must be given before a girl engages in sex. There are still many influential people and organizations who object to this vaccine, to the “morning-after pill” and to education about condoms because it might give girls bad ideas they never would have entertained before.
These people would rather see more abortions, more unwanted children living in poverty and more deaths from cervical cancer than let women enjoy sex without their permission. If they think young people decide whether to have sex based on regulations or epidemiological studies, then the discussion should be framed as a mental health one.