The Liberty Counsel's Unhappy Valentine
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Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 09:10:30 AM EST
Bumped over from the diaries -- ed

A far right group's Valentine's Day event means support for teen sexual purity...and opposition to Gardasil.

The Liberty Counsel, a Christian Nationalist legal group, isn't content with working Christmas around to their agenda. Oh, no. They've been using Valentine's Day, too. For the fourth year in a row, they expect conservative Christian teenagers to observe a Day of Purity at their schools on February 14th. Yes, the Liberty Counsel wants teens to replace cards, hearts, and flowers with guilt-inducing flyers, white T-shirts (preferably theirs), and public vows of chastity until marriage.

The website lists the usual suspects in the battle for teen virginity: TV, the Internet, celebrities, gay advocacy groups.  Nothing unusual so far.  But a January 5 press release reveals new enemies:  the Gardasil vaccine and those cutesy-corny "One Less" commercials urging parents to vaccinate their daughters against the human papilloma virus.
National advocacy organizations encourage students to explore their sexuality at an early age. Television ads encourage parents to vaccinate their 9-12 year old girls with the HPV vaccine, after reporting the shocking statistic that 6.2 million people are infected each year with HPV and an average of 3,700 women die each year in the U.S. from HPV. Not once do those ads mention that HPV is a sexually transmitted disease – in other words, the ads don’t convey the most important information: you can’t contract HPV if you choose to remain sexually pure. California has adopted the same strategy of vaccinating its students rather than educating them with a bill that requires all girls entering the sixth grade to be vaccinated for HPV.

It’s no surprise that in response to this madness, students yearn for the opportunity to choose a different path....

Read that again.  A right-wing organization that's growing in influence considers it "madness" to vaccinate young girls against an incredibly hurtful disease that's impossible to block with condoms.  Apparently they believe that "good", chaste Christian women never get raped.  They also rather conveniently forget that virginity pledges tend to delay, not eliminate, premarital sex

It's not just the Liberty Counsel that believes young women ought to keep their legs shut rather than take advantage of medical advances.  The Family Foundation of Kentucky is attempting to prevent their state's legislature from making the vaccine mandatory.  Focus on the Family also opposes mandatory vaccination.  Before Gardasil was approved by the FDA, the Family Research Council opposed it.  Bridget Maher, a spokeswoman for the FRC, put it bluntly:  "Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex."

No responsible person is advocating that teenagers should have sex or that sex should be approached casually.  However, things happen.  A woman may live to enjoy every memory she has of her sexual history or live to regret a few things.  The important thing is that she lives.  A moral system that would prevent girls from receiving a potentially life-saving vaccine in order to keep them fearful about sex should have no place in public schools, public policy, or Valentine's Day.

is in Jerry Falwell's orbit.

The principal of LC is Matt Staver.  He is Vice-President of Law and Policy and a member of the Board of Trustees for Liberty University, and serves as Dean of Liberty University School of Law.

by Frederick Clarkson on Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 02:28:14 PM EST

that you can get the disease from an unfaithful husband or one who was very busy before the wedding.

I hate these people.

by tikkun on Sat Jan 13, 2007 at 12:02:15 AM EST

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