Conservatives ask themselves, fight cancer or fight sex?

And they choose sex every time. My latest in the Guardian:

According to a recent study, giving children tetanus shots will not, in fact, encourage them to stab themselves with rusty nails or be less cautious when playing outdoors. Various political organizations have advocated against the tetanus vaccine, arguing that tetanus shots send the message that recreation is acceptable, and that if children know they’re protected from lockjaw, they will be less vigilant about avoiding the kinds of cuts and scrapes that can lead to deadly nervous system infections. Attempts to require tetanus vaccination have met extreme backlash from conservative groups who argue that mandating the vaccine is an assault on parental rights and family values.

Even bills that simply would have made the vaccine free for low-income children without mandating it were vetoed by Republican governors. Doctors hope that these study results, which show that tetanus-vaccinated children are no more likely to engage in unsafe recreational behavior than their unvaccinated peers, will increase the tetanus shot rate for children of parents who fear that tetanus shots encourage risk-taking.

At this point, you’re thinking, I hope:

“What in the world is this lady talking about? Everyone gives their kids tetanus shots! You’d be irresponsible not to inoculate your child against tetanus, and you’re nuts if you think that giving a kid a tetanus shot will make him be less careful about slicing his skin with filthy rusted metal. And there’s absolutely no political controversy around tetanus shots.”

You would be right. If only the same were true of the HPV vaccine.

You can read the whole thing here.


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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3 Responses to Conservatives ask themselves, fight cancer or fight sex?

  1. Radiant Sophia says:

    Very nice article. Conservative (read GOP) policy does appear to prefer us dead than “uncontrolled”.

    • Gemmabeta says:

      Well, not all the way dead, you can’t make money off dead people.

      • William says:

        Don’t confuse a deep-seated drive to control the behavior of other human beings for greed. When the chips are down the GOP chooses power over profit. They’ve been consistently pushing out the old school conservatives, Barry Goldwater/Milton Friedman types, and moderates for years in favor of slack-jawed psychotics who desperately await the rapture. Greed you can manage, religious fanatics are a different story entirely…

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