Manchester Catholic School Bans Cancer Vaccination
A Catholic school in Manchester, UK has banned their 12 and 13 year old female students from receiving immunization against cervical cancer at the high school, even though the NHS vaccination program has been approved by Britain's Catholic Education Service.
The vaccine would protect young women from acquiring the human papillomavirus (HPV) through sexual intercourse. HPV heightens the chances of a women developing cervical cancer.
Although a letter outlining the governors' stance makes no mention of moral objections, at least one of their number has previously criticized the injections for "encouraging sexual promiscuity".
Letters were sent out to the parents of 120 Year 8 girls yesterday. Even if they are prevented from having the injections on school premises, girls will be free to have the inoculations via their GPs.
Chairman of governors at the school, Martin Browne, doesn't believe the school is an appropriate place to administer vaccinations of this kind, and questioned the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine.
"Instead of taking it for granted that teenagers will engage in sexual activity, we can offer a vision of a full life keeping yourself for a lifelong partnership in marriage."
Director of public health Peter Elton responded:
"We are disturbed that the school is not allowing vaccinations on their premises. We know this will reduce the number of girls who take up the vaccines and will put them at higher risk in later life of eventually contracting cervical cancer."
He claimed that the letter, a copy of which was leaked to a local newspaper, was "unbalanced". The benefits of the injections, he insisted, "far outweigh any minor side effects".
With a different study on abortion rates in the US that show that abortions among teenage girls are down after the introduction of sexual health and awareness lessons in the classroom, it's a wonder that individuals can still assume preventative treatments such as this would encourage sexual promiscuity.