Merck is trying to get FDA approval for a vaccine against the virus that causes cervical cancer and is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the country. Lives would be saved by the vaccine, but the politicized Bush FDA will probably deny approval, as the disease -- like all VD -- is a handy ally to the Religious Right in its battle against sex.Neal actually understated the anti-science, anti-medicine perspective of the Bush administration.
I knew that the moral mullahs of this country point obsessively to disease and pregnancy in their campaign for sexual inhibition. But I didn't quite realize -- and it embarrasses me to admit this -- that they are also against curing such diseases, so as not to encourage sin. An anti-HIV vaccine, rather than being celebrated, might actually be denied FDA approval -- in this country, of course. The rest of the modern world, unencumbered, moves steadily into the future without us.
From the New Yorker article:
Religious conservatives are unapologetic; not only do they believe that mass use of an HPV vaccine or the availability of emergency contraception will encourage adolescents to engage in unacceptable sexual behavior; some have even stated that they would feel similarly about an H.I.V. vaccine, if one became available.Just in case you thought that the Religious Right would limit itself to merely sacrificing the lives of soldiers to bring about their perverse vision of America.
"We would have to look at that closely," Reginald Finger, an evangelical Christian and former medical adviser to the conservative political organization Focus on the Family, said. "With any vaccine for H.I.V., disinhibition" -- a medical term for the absence of fear -- "would certainly be a factor, and it is something we will have to pay attention to with a great deal of care."
Finger sits on the Centers for Disease Control's Immunization Committee, which makes those recommendations.