PRO LIFE NEWS (Mar. 19, 2007)
St. Malachy Council 12540
Day of the Unborn Child: Sunday, March 25th, all Knights are encouraged to attend
with their families the 2:30 praying of the Rosary. We will pray in honor of all those
children who never had or will have the chance of life outside the womb. Big Cat will
lead us in a short prayer session following the Rosary.
Why All the Furor About HPV?
HPV-What is it? Human papillomavirus is a group of viruses that includes more
than 100 different strains. More than 30 of these strains are sexually transmitted
and can infect the genital area of both men and women.
How Common is HPV? Approximately 20 million people in the U.S. are
currently infected with HPV. At least 50 percent of sexually active men and
women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives. Most people
who become infected with HPV will not have any symptoms, will be unaware
they are infected and will clear the infection on their own.
What is the Connection Between HPV and Cervical Cancer? Approximately
10 of the 30 identified genital HPV strains can lead, in rare cases, to development
of cervical cancer. Only 10,000 cases develop in the U.S. annually. An average
of 3,700 women die each year. Research has shown that for most women (90
percent) cervical HPV infection becomes undetectable within two years. Most
women who develop invasive cervical cancer have not had regular screening.
How is the Risk of Obtaining HPV Reduced? As with any sexually-transmitted
disease, the surest way to eliminate risk for genital HPV infection is to refrain
from any genital contact with another individual. For those who choose to be
sexually active, a long-term, monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner
is the strategy most likely to prevent future infections.
What is Gardasil? Merck & Co. has produced a vaccine, Gardasil, claiming that
this vaccine will lessen the cases of cervical cancer caused by HPV. Merck has
used Women in Government, an advocacy group of female legislators around the
country, to introduce bills to mandate the vaccine in several states. In Texas,
Governor Rick Perry recently announced that he was ordering the vaccination of
all girls in public schools beginning with 6th graders. Legislation on forced
mandates is still being considered in at least 20 other states, including Indiana.
What isn’t the Culture of Death Telling Us?
o HPV is contracted through sexual contact and is not contagious.
Therefore, almost all cases of HPV could be prevented through
responsible sexual behavior, including fidelity in marriage and abstinence
outside of marriage as the Church teaches.
o Gardasil does not actually fully prevent cervical cancer. While Merck
claims that it will prevent 70% of the types of HPV that cause cervical
cancer, it only protects against four of the HPV strains.
o The cost for the vaccine is $360 (which taxpayers would be forced to pay
for) and Gardasil only lasts five years, so booster shots will be required as
What is the Pro-Life Position on this Issue?
o Mandatory vaccines should only be required when outbreaks of easily
transmitted diseases may threaten a school or community.
o The mandating of a vaccine such as Gardasil sets a dangerous precedent.
What’s next, the mandating of condoms?
o Teach our children abstinence and HPV-caused cervical cancer goes away.
“States should require vaccinations for communicable diseases, like measles and mumps.
But you can’t catch HPV if an infected schoolmate coughs on you or shares your juice
box at lunch. Whether or not girls get vaccinated against HPV is a decision for parents
and physicians, not state governments.”
U.S. Representative Phil Gingrey (Georgia)