Mon Petit Blog

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SEPTEMBER 15, 2011 7:51PM

Misogyny and the Politicization of Women's Health

Rate: 15 Flag

I have a confession to make: I'm a pro-choice feminist and registered democrat (small 'D" is intentional). When I was in college, I attended a "lobby day" in Richmond, Virginia in 2004 when the state General Assembly was considering establishing new requirements for abortion clinics that would in effect close the majority of the clinics in the state. Then state senator Ken Cuccinelli, who is now our Attorney General and has voiced interest in defeating Democratic Senator Mark Warner in 2014, had sponsored the bill we came to oppose and on that day the bill was rejected. Similar bills have gone before the state legislature for almost 20 years, but this year it finally passed the senate and the Virginia Board of Health voted 12-1 to implement these overly restrictive measures. The restrictions will mandate that facilities that perform abortions must adhere to the same health and safety guidelines as hospitals, even if they only administer pharmaceutical abortions. I wouldn't be as disheartened and disappointed if these measures were passed with a compelling concern for women's safety and health, but too often these kinds of measures are politically motivated to advance the careers of anti-choice politicians who want to bolster their social conservative credentials to voters, especially those voters who follow a literalist understanding of the Bible.

I know many pro-life folks who aren't misogynistic and don't demonstrate hypocrisy when they say they support a "culture of life". But when politicians such as Virginia governor Bob McDonnell (who's interested in the GOP VP slot for the presidential election in 2012) endorses measures that will restrict abortion access, claim to be "pro-life", but then allow the state execution of a border-line retarded woman, Teresa Lewis, almost a year ago this month it's beyond frustrating for me to wrap my head around this logic. This discrepancy has always enraged me, especially when it's politicians with the power to legislate.There has been ample talk about women's health so far in the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. I've noticed a frightening amount of misogyny has peppered the reasoning behind some of the candidates support against such issues as:

·         Public Funding of Contraceptive Medication - I can understand fiscal concerns over whether taxpayers should subsidize birth control, although on a policy level I think it would be a good idea to help bridge the disparity in how much more women pay for health care services over their life time then men (because we're the ones with health issues brought on from the joys of giving birth). But I'm shocked how often conservatives have talked about this issue like it's such a trivial matter. As FOX Commentator Sandy Rios stated, "Are we going to do pedicures and manicures as well?" because the beauty salon is where most women get their Yasmin, right? Plus equating services such as domestic violence counseling to getting your nails done is beyond insensitive and insulting. Sean Hannity should get a special prize for his condescending and wrong-headed claim that birth control is a personal choice and coverage would lead to the continuation of a Nanny State, but erectile dysfunction medication should be covered by health insurance because by comparison "it's a legitimate medical problem versus a choice to have sex" that deserves coverage.

 ·         "Heartbeat" Laws - Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry is defending a bill that he signed into law that would require women who want abortions to view a sonogram and listen to the heartbeat of their fetus while be lectured on the "facts about the life she is carrying". In order to hear the fetal heartbeat, women need a vaginal probe inserted into their vagina, which is unnecessarily intrusive of a woman's privacy. Plus, do Texas legislators think women are stupid enough not to know that an abortion results in the termination of a pregnancy? (Big Hint: it's where the term "abortion" comes from.) There are several other states considering similar laws despite a federal judge rejecting the Texas law as unconstitutional.

 ·         HPV Vaccine Mandate - Tea Party darling Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann decided to take a gotcha swipe at her more popular rival for the GOP nomination, Governor Rick Perry, by highlighting the horrific Big Gubermint infringement on individual liberty through a mandated vaccination order Perry signed on to. Never mind the fact that individual liberty never trumps public safety (this is why you can't own a pit-bull in many jurisdictions but can buy an assault rifle, but that's a post for another day...), and that the reason we don't have polio or smallpox is due to government mandated vaccinations, that all won't impinge an ambitious politician from exploiting women's health to their advantage. Another compelling reason to have the government take a stance on vaccination is that it forces health insurance companies to cover the cost of vaccinations if it's out of "medical necessity", either your doctor or the state recommends you get it. More women will be vaccinated against the most common strains of HPV if the cost of getting these shots are more manageable. The American Academy on Pediatrics swiftly condemned the insinuation that the vaccine may cause such side-effects as mental retardation and Perry made the non-hypocritical defense of his position that he will always "Err on the side of Life". Other conservative commentators explained, as they did with the compensation of birth control prescriptions, that having the HPV vaccine mandated by the government is going to result in more women having sex (but the same doesn't result for men having their Viagra pills covered?). So ye, slutty broads, get thee to a nunnery not a Planned Parenthood!

It boggles my mind when conservatives claim a concern for women's health or protecting individual liberties by blocking measures that would actually improve women's wellbeing (that's supported by medical professions not just politicians who say so) or support regulations that will result in restricting access to constitutionally supported rights. It's even more upsetting to me when it comes down to it most of these initiatives are motivated by a prejudiced view of women and their medical needs.

 

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Thanks for this reasoned and thorough discussion of a much ignored yet vitally important topic.

You ought to work on Capitol Hill. That is meant as a compliment.
Haha! Thanks Mary, I used to work for the government for a while but am now enjoying the joys the private sector. I don't like bringing up abortion in particular just because I think it's an issue that gets way too much attention compared to other topics and fuels the "culture wars", but you're right it does need to be talked about by people from all perspectives or else we'll only get the side from the people who yell the loudest. :P
Thanks for this great post and summary!

I read a surprising article in the September 2011 issue of National Geographic, on how the birth rate in Brazil has plummeted over the last 50 years from 6 children 2 children, in a country where abortion is illegal and there is no government population program. It says the initiative mostly came from Brazilian women themselves...there was a massive increase in tubal ligation; oral contraceptives are sold over the counter (not the healthiest way); and misoprostol (Cytotec, which is used to treat ulcers, and is also part of the early abortion pill along with RU-486) became widely available on the streets for a time, among other factors.

(Just as an aside, misoprostol alone for early abortions is less safe than medically supervised surgical or chemical abortions; but is more safe than other means of illegal abortion. It can cause birth defects if the abortion fails. It has been found to be used among populations in NYC, and costs about $2 per dose.)

The world is changing, and I wish our leaders could honestly look forward and respond according to the world we live in today, and think of the needs of the real young women and men standing in front of them.

Thanks again for this great summary of what is going on!
With this week's discussion of HPV vaccine, and the focus on "std" versus the opportunity to reduce the incidence of a highly prolific, contagious disease that also causes cancer and reduces fertility, shows us that "pro-life" people often (not always) tend to be pro-living a certain kind of life only crowd. HPV is transmitted by all skin to skin contact, and the strains in question regarding certain cancers are primarily transmitted through sex (location, it is an infection of keratinocytes which don't move)- but not entirely through sex- and is a public health scourge. The only reason morality comes into the discussion at all is due to the fact it can infect your genitals.
The greater the fear, the greater the dogma.... if women stop fearing sex, and obeying men in general, the very foundations upon which our society is built will fall apart. We cannot have that happen, can we?
If people want the vaccine to guard against cervical cancer, they can get it. However, since it is not a communicable disease in the manner of chicken pox, measles and such, it is not up to schools and/or government, and/or Mr. Perry to force people to have it or have it given to their underage daughters. (And Mr. Perry's "opt out" system was so difficult and broad that it amounted to a "no opt out" system in reality.) If you all, or any, want birth control funded, I suggest you get out your check books and write a check to Planned Parenthood. Or, perhaps, start your own charity or group to fund such things. Good luck with that. It worked for Margaret Sanger whom I don't admire for much except her ability to start an organization and not force taxpayers to pay for it.
HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact — usually during vaginal, anal, or oral sex play.
From Michael Fumento’s article on the same subject. (This can be found at: http://fumento.com/disease/hpv.html)

"As Robert Zavoski, physician and president of the Connecticut chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, explained to the Hartford Courant, 'Vaccines previously mandated for universal use are those which protect the public’s health against agents easily communicated, responsible for epidemics, or causing significant morbidity or mortality among those passively exposed to the illness.' He added, 'HPV is not an agent of this sort.'"
And according to Alan Cantwell, MD, as he wrote in, “Sex, Cancer And The Mandatory HPV Vaccine” HPV is, “the sexually transmitted virus believed to cause cancer of the cervix..”

Go to:

http://townhall.com/columnists/janiceshawcrouse/2008/09/26/a_reality_check_for_the_hpv_vaccine http://townhall.com/columnists/lindachavez/2007/02/23/parents_dilemma

for other points of view.
I generally agree with you on most counts, and appreciate you speaking out, because we all should, less we end up like Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale, which seems increasing prophetic in a Tea Party world.

Small grain of hope that there is a lawsuit against the Texas sonogram law. Man, I saw a female rep demo that vaginal ultrasound on video, in session, and it was amazing. It's like institutionalized rape. The government should not be able to stick that thing inside of anyone, and force doctors to be a party to it.

But there is a lawsuit fighting that: http://elpasotimes.typepad.com/capitol/2011/06/texas-sonogram-bill-lawsuit.html

Thanks for keeping up the good fight.
Barbara - FYI I'm a taxpayer as well and that being said, I think I have a equal right as you to say where I want my tax money to go. I didn't support the Iraq war but I'm now stuck paying for that debacle for decades with my taxes. My generation has a lot of complain about, especially when it comes to costly decisions that we will be stuck paying off even though we were too young vote at the time the checks were written. I think health insurance should be one of the less controversial things for a country to spend money on (and seems to be fine covering Medicare and Medicaid), but for some reason it's been branded as Marxist by the Townhall reading crowd. We're never going to agree to cut spending money on the Pentagon, but investing in the health and wellbeing of future generations, that's considered madness. I don't see understand why requiring chickenpox shots are fine to mandate but HPV aren't, they both cause illness that takes away valuable time and money to treat when they could be prevented. Is HPV always as deadly as smallpox? No ofcourse not, but it is preventable and it's prevention can reduce the amount of women who have to under go costly and painful tests and procedures in order to treat its worse case scenario outcome - cancer.
The author wrote: " Barbara - FYI I'm a taxpayer as well and that being said, I think I have a equal right as you to say where I want my tax money to go. I didn't support the Iraq war but I'm now stuck paying for that debacle for decades with my taxes. "

I never said, nor would I, that you don't have an equal right to say where your tax money goes. OF COURSE you do. It's why you vote, among other reasons. However, I will say that the constitution does provide for the government to wage war (whether Iraq was a good idea I'll leave aside), whereas it does not provide for the government to cover the nation's health care. Although, as a citizen, you will push for that and I will push against it. That's how it goes.

My points are:

1) It is not constitutional;
2) It will be less efficient and go broke;
3) It will impede on my freedom because busybodies will become my keepers and decide what I can do with my body.
4) It will drive out doctors and other medical practitioners.
5) It will lead to the problems we see in most countries that have it (I mean the problems associated with the insurance/H C)
6) It will mean I cannot pay for extra procedures EVEN should I desire them;
7) It will mean the endless politicization of health care and medical decisions.

Example, WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT HERE - the politicization of health care. OF COURSE it is politicized. What the hell do you think government - mandated insurance DOES? It politicizes! Don't want that? Don't favour government H C/insurance control.

But, I point out also that at least in THEORY wars are for the COMMON defense, whereas with mandated HC /Insurance you are FORCING other people to pay for what their neighbors do. This strikes me as profoundly selfish. If people want to donate to a charity, they are free to do so. Being forced to do so is something else. It is selfish, it is inefficient, (more people will cheat on taxes), it will go broke, it will mean that less people contribute to charities which are routinely more efficient, it will mean people of certain ages being denied care because everyone can't get everything (reality, my dear) and strangers deciding what I or you have a right to pay for in our health care, AND it will mean, the politicization of health care (for the millionth time). You will proclaim my kids need HPV because YOU want it. I will say NO. The health wars will never end. The politics will never end and your freedom will shrink.

The author wrote "My generation has a lot of complain about, especially when it comes to costly decisions that we will be stuck paying off even though we were too young vote at the time the checks were written. "

Then why in hell do you want more government waste?

The author wrote "I think health insurance should be one of the less controversial things for a country to spend money on (and seems to be fine covering Medicare and Medicaid), but for some reason it's been branded as Marxist by the Townhall reading crowd."

I don't think it is Marxist, but I believe it is unconstitutional, and, by the way, Medicare and Medicaid probably are too. They are also going broke and inefficient and are among the things your so-called generation will be stuck with paying.

The author wrote: "I don't see understand why requiring chickenpox shots are fine to mandate but HPV aren't, they both cause illness that takes away valuable time and money to treat when they could be prevented. Is HPV always as deadly as smallpox? No ofcourse not, but it is preventable and it's prevention can reduce the amount of women who have to under go costly and painful tests and procedures in order to treat its worse case scenario outcome - cancer."

Deadliness is NOT the issue around government requirement. FREEDOM is the issue. This is NOT a communicable disease in the way the other illnesses you mention are. It is MY CHOICE to have the vaccine. If I don't have it, it hurts ME, not YOU. Or would you favour gay men being forced to refrain from sex?

I am free to risk my health as I see fit. Sorry, you are free to risk yours as YOU see fit. My body doesn't belong to you or the government and this is reason 1,400,000,why government, and you, should stay out of other people's health care.
I really am not trying to be snarky, so to speak. Proof this piece, especially now that it is an EP. You'll be glad you did. There are typos such as desiding for deciding.

I'll do it for free if you like. Honest.
Thanks Barbara for trying to write the "snark free" comments to my post. I really do appreciate being able to talk to people from other points of view without resorting to capslock to make their frustration noted. I'm curious as to why you think mandated vaccination is unconstitutional, or do you just think mandating HPV is unconstitutional because the virus in question is transmitted through sexual contact?

As for my typos, yes there are many. I've never once in my life stated that I always write in perfect American English (even though I studied English as an undergrad), that's why it would be fantastic if there was a spellcheck option for writting texts in Opensalon. And thanks for your congradulations of this post being an EP, that's actually news to me so thanks. This is actually my second attempt at composing this post to my blog because I lost everything I wrote a week ago trying to save it as a draft. I think I'm going to have to resort to composing things in Word Perfect before I post.
*congratulations - see I can spot my typos too! :)
Barbara wrote - "I am free to risk my health as I see fit. Sorry, you are free to risk yours as YOU see fit. " You can contract HPV from one sexual encounter or over the span of 50 sexual encounters, it's not the level of risky promiscuity that determines if you contract HPV. And insinuating that I or anyone else would support HPV vaccination is because we're godless heathen sluts isn't snarky, Barbara, it's just plain rude and only proves my assumption that what motivates people from opposing mandating vaccination for HPV is fear promoting people having promiscuous sex (which isn't the only way to catch HPV, it's any kind of sex).
I agree with your point of view. For this I rate your post.

That said, there were a LOT of typos and misspellings throughout your article. Normally I wouldn't deign to point them out, but there were too many in this otherwise wonderful article. If they were consistently misspelled I would not have said anything.

One method to improve this is to write your article in a Word Processor Application that will also do spell checking (the "New Post' window here is an abomination of formatting and does not spell check, so it's worth it to write outside of the New Post window.) Other than that, though, I really, REALLY liked your piece, am happy you got an EP and support your point of view.

-r-
Just a quick correction:

I support your point of view on women's reproductive rights and the issue of overall health care for the people of this nation. I do not support mandatory HPV vaccinations of only women. Why can't men get it? Why should only a sector of the population get it and not others? It should be all or nothing in such cases.

That said, if we wish to argue that health issues are not mandated by the Constitution, then neither was going to war with Iraq or Afghanistan (where we openly attacked a non-recognized group of people as if they were at war with us) which neither had anything to do with Defense of this country.

The Declaration of Independance is a guiding hand for our Constitution and it states some of our Unalienable Rights (which means they cannot be taken away from us) and those were Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

I cannot imagine folks choosing to be sick as part of that credo. I cannot imagine people believing that being sick or being healthy is a privilige or a right. Who would really choose being sick over being healthy? And to deny someone access to health care not only voids the idea of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, it's humanly immoral on any grounds from which you care to view it.

I don't support mandatory vaccinations for afflictions that are truly preventable, like HPV and especially would resist it being made only for a single gender when it is transmissable to both genders of a population. That said, I would support public care that included information on prevention and amelioration of any disease, be they epidemic and easily communicable, or otherwise.

We spend way too much on military efforts and then abuse our military in wars of resource acquisition labeled as Defense of our Country. It is not patriotic to go kill people who have done you no harm or who have not invaded your shores or the borders of your direct allies who are requesting aid.

I'll stop here before I really go on a rant.
Thanks dunnite, I've gone back and corrected about 20 misspellings. I debated just deleting the post all together, but if I can just learn from my mistakes this time (and draft in Word Perfect next time) perhaps there won't be as much embarrassment next time? With my dyslexia it's sometimes hard to catch everything the first time, but over the years I've learned just slowing down and taking the time to reread helps tremendously.
HPV vaccine is now available to boys as well as girls. Initially, it was only given to girls because they were the ones getting the disease end of the infection. Men seemed to have no ill effects, just carriers. Now that they know it is associated with over 40% of all head and neck cancer (maybe even more), as well as penile and anal cancer in men, they are suggesting boys get the vaccine as well.
yeah, it's pretty weird, isn't it, Aquabrarian? oh well, back to the dark ages....
I will be generous and say you misunderstood what I wrote.

The author wrote: "Barbara wrote - "I am free to risk my health as I see fit. Sorry, you are free to risk yours as YOU see fit. " You can contract HPV from one sexual encounter or over the span of 50 sexual encounters, it's not the level of risky promiscuity that determines if you contract HPV. And insinuating that I or anyone else would support HPV vaccination is because we're godless heathen sluts isn't snarky, Barbara, it's just plain rude and only proves my assumption that what motivates people from opposing mandating vaccination for HPV is fear promoting people having promiscuous sex (which isn't the only way to catch HPV, it's any kind of sex)."

Of course, I said nothing of the SORT and you are, I assume unintentionally, libeling me. I said NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING implying that people who can catch HPV are "sluts" NOR did I make any judgmental remarks.

You owe me a real apology. I said THIS:


I am free to risk my health as I see fit. Sorry, you are free to risk yours as YOU see fit. My body doesn't belong to you or the government and this is reason 1,400,000,why government, and you, should stay out of other people's health care.

This MEANS I can do what I want with MY BODY and take the vaccines I WANT (provided it is not a truly communicable disease we are talking about) and you can do what YOU WANT with your body AS TO VACCINES!

Wow, you are WAY too sensitive!

I said NOTHING about sex even! Not a WORD! I am talking about my right to have or not have a vaccine.

And try READING! I said you needed to proof your post here for there are typos. I said that I was not trying to be SNARKY by saying that - the remark about proofing.

Please apologize for saying I said ANYTHING about sex or morality. I didn't.

BTW, I do NOT think that people who do what they want with their bodies in regard to sex are ANY OF MY BUSINESS. And what I do with regard to my body unless it will lead to YOU DIRECTLY GETTING SOMETHING FROM ME is none of your business.

Please clarify that you have misunderstood what I wrote and that I said NOTHING of the kind.
BTW, I didn't say it was unconstitutional to mandate a vaccine. I was speaking there of mandated "buying" of health insurance and government health care.

I think the mandated vaccine, however, is an invasion of my privacy and the rights of parents .... I've said why here about a million times, but I'll try again. This is not a communicable disease in the standard sense of that word, "communicable". That is, I am NOT at risk by simply being in the same room or breathing the same air as someone else. Therefore I am not exposing people to it either through casual contact. It is not the GOVERNMENT'S business, or yours, whether I choose to put myself at risk in my personal, sexual life or not.

BTW, I can envision many circumstances in which I would use the vaccine and HAVE had it. It is the government MANDATE I oppose.

And for many it IS about sex. For me it is NOT. However, other people, who do not feel their kids are at risk yet (or ever) or for SOME OTHER REASON, including irrational ones, do not want the vaccine, should not be forced to have it administered to their children. I might not agree with their decision, but their kids are NOT mine and since this is not a communicable disease in the sense of being communicable in the air, at the blackboard, on utensils, etc. it is not the government's job to force people to have it.
And, frankly, I don't care HOW people get this. If it is not a communicable disease in the common sense of communicable, a vaccine against it, although wise for some or all, should not be a government-forced one.

I hope that is clear enough.
I commend you on your excellent piece and your replies to those who commented and criticised. You show a lot of class and grace.
Barbara: how does a HPV vaccine promote irresponsible sexual activity? Your source doesn't indicate how, only scatters the claim like some scary shotgun.

The vaccine isn't mandatory, btw, and you've also got a weird definition of communicable. Skin on skin contact isn't always sexual, and even though you're afraid of sexuality, some of us do have enough courage and heart to recognize that many people will contract it that way (oh, the horror! young adults having sex!). That is to say, it will be communicated from one person to another. (Jesus H Christ on a popsickle stick, do we really have to spell it out?)

The Fumento quote is equally as funny (and dishonest) We all remember how he was discredited for not revealing his links with Monsanto and for his general habit of offering hyperbolic titles that he couldn't support (Heterosexual AIDS myth, for example--what a quack!)

Oh, and tell us again how a Texas decision is a violation of the US Constitution?

In short you've got no argument and poorly sourced opinion.

***
Aquabrarian (sounds like a saturday morning superhero): the red flag for me with Parry is his ties to Merck. Unlike selfish people like BJ above, I'm all for preventing disease (darn Nanny state, trying to protect me from disease, provide for the common defense, and promote the general welfare), but we should pause when ANY pol. does something as altruistic as this, especially a Tea Partier.
Lance, read my comments again. I have NOT said it promotes any kind of sexual activity. This is something the writer of this blog, in error I assume, has ascribed to me. I have NOT said this. Nor do I care about this issue here. I do NOT care about any sexual activity anyone has that does not concern me.

All I'm saying - and now you need to admit I didn't say anything in regard to good or bad morally speaking nor even SPEAK to the sexual aspects of this illness - is this:

I am free to take the risks I want with my body. It belongs to me. It doesn't belong to Mr. Perry or anyone else , including those who want me to have this vaccine. BTW, if I deemed myself at risk, I would have it. ALL I"M SAYING is that it is my affair, my business.

Let's put it this way. I pray that someday there is a vaccine for AIDS. I would NEVER want that vaccine to be mandatory in America.

If there was a vaccine for lung cancer, I would not want all smokers - and others at risk - to be forced to have it.

I said, and I am repeating since y'all are not reading thoroughly, is that the vaccine is not one that should be mandatory.

Good Lord. READ people.
Lance - I leave Mr. Fumento to his own credibility or lack thereof.

I am saying that this is not - since it IS NOT - a communicable disease in the way of chicken pox, flu, and such. Thus the argument that vaccinations should be mandatory falls down. This is not transmitted via casual contact, just as AIDS is not. I may well think people SHOULD have it, but I certainly don't think they should be FORCED to have it.

I do not believe I said it is unconstitutional for people to be forced to have it . I was speaking, as I have made clear already, to government-mandated health care (and especially to the mandate to BUY insurance) being unconstitutional. I think it will be ruled so.

And Lance, if you read this woman's argument, one of the things she mentions and the only one I'm addressing, is that it SHOULD be mandatory. I disagree. I don't think it should be.

BTW, I favour the vaccine.
And frankly Lance, I don't care if young people have sex. It is not my business. It doesn't particularly interest me. I said nothing to indicate I was horrified by sex or people having it. Where do you all get this stuff? I am speaking to the mandatory nature of a vaccine for a disease that is not communicable to the general public through routine contact.
And Lance, I quoted Dr. Zavorski on the illness and its communicable nature and NOT Mr. Fumento. (Although I cited the latter as it was from his article.)
Actually Lance it appears to be YOU who have ascribed to me the idea that this will promote sexual activity. I said no such thing, NOR, by the way, did I imply it.

The author here said I was implying women who get this or want it are sluts. I said no such thing, nor, by the way, did I imply it.
Nor, by the way, do I think it. Nor, by the way, do I care what other people do in their private lives.
Oh Lance, I did speak on one other thing. This writer indicated a concern about the availability and cost of birth control. I don't care if people use birth control. It is not my affair. I do suggest that people who ARE concerned about others being able to afford it, get out their checkbooks. I don't think Planned Parenthood, or other such organizations, will return the checks.
And if y'all don't want medical care politicized, maybe you should hope that the government (full of politics) stay out of it.

Bye and good luck. But please stop making up stuff that I supposedly said. It's rude.
@Barbara (and others who don't seem to know this)...

The *DICTIONARY* disagrees with you, and so do I.
"Communicable disease: an infectious disease transmissable (as from person to person) by direct contact with an infected individual or the individual's discharges or by indirect means (as by a vector)."

HPV *is* a communicable disease. There are many types, but 2 broad categories, high-risk and low-risk (risk here refers to the risk of causing cancer). And according to the CDC, about 30% of females 20-24 years old test positive for the high-risk form.

Tetanus, on the other hand, is NOT passed person-to-person, yet it is a mandated vaccine. Where is your ire over that matter?

THIS IS UTTER HYPOCRISY.

And finally, condoms do not always protect against HPV. The "warts" are often in areas not covered by condoms (and not even in the genital area!), and outside of a vaccine, there is no other way to prevent the spread other than preventing all contact with ALL skin.

This is not a "preventable" disease, unless you classify flu that way, too. After all, nobody is forcing you to go out in public. Really.
To Dayna
"Communicable disease: an infectious disease transmissable (as from person to person) by direct contact with an infected individual or the individual's discharges or by indirect means (as by a vector)."

Well, the dictionary can disagree all it wants. This disease is communicable via discharges encountered during sex. So are most STDs and we have never had FORCED inoculations of the general public for sexually transmitted diseases or, should a vaccine become available, will we have one for AIDS. I mean communicable by air and routine contact which is the way the government has used the term for most of the existence of inoculation programs in the USA.

I never mentioned condoms - where do you people GET this stuff (?) - and I want people to care for themselves, I just Do NOT want such vaccines to be mandatory.

Why tetanus is mandatory I do not know. Maybe it shouldn't be, although I'd get the vaccine.

I don't think you are right on this disease if you are suggesting that it can be contacted by routine human contact - such as a handshake. If you are, I retract my argument. But I haven't seen or read that it is. It is communicable during sex or sexual activity. I have no problem with people doing what they want and I'm not against the idea of the vaccine. But, unless you can show me you get it via the air, by sharing a glass, by shaking hands. via routine contact we all engage in by virtue of being in public , I don't buy the mandate.

I haven't see that argument - that it IS communicable that way, and I suspect you are in error.

By the way, I have no problem with the vaccine, it is the mandate. Would you mandate an AIDS or lung cancer vaccine for all people if one were available?

By the way, I wasn't saying this is a preventable disease. Never used that word. It is, as I understand, not communicable in the way of flu, chicken pox, etc., And apparently tetanus is not either. Maybe those shots shouldn't be mandated as well.
http://hpv.emedtv.com/hpv/hpv-transmission-p2.html
http://www.hpvinformation.com/about-hpv/hpv-faqs/
Q
How do you get HPV?
A
The types of HPV that cause genital warts, abnormal cervical cells (dysplasia) and/or cervical cancer are spread from person to person through sex or intimate skin-to-skin (genital) contact. They are not spread by breathing the air, touching inanimate objects such as a door knob or shaking hands.
Condoms provide some protection. However, they cannot prevent infection completely, because they do not cover all areas of the genital region. It is important to know that while having more than one sexual partner increases the risk of getting HPV, it is possible to get the virus from just one person. It also is important to remember that even women who have had only one sexual partner for many years need to be screened for abnormal cells that can turn into cervical cancer. This is because HPV may remain dormant (“hidden”) in the cervical cells for months or even many years. While dormant, the virus is inactive; it won’t be detected by testing and will not spread or cause any problems. However, the infection may then “re-emerge,” perhaps due to changes in the body's immune system. It is impossible to determine exactly when or from whom you acquired an HPV infection.
http://www.immunizationinfo.org/issues/hpv-vaccines/mandatory-hpv-immunization-middle-school-girls

Compulsory HPV immunization. Mandating HPV immunization for school entry would increase the proportion of girls and women who are immunized—and therefore immune to the HPV types in the vaccine—before most of them will be exposed. This is the most compelling argument in favor of mandating this vaccine.
Others argue that HPV mandates are not appropriate because school immunization laws are intended to control outbreaks of contagious diseases—such as measles, diphtheria and others—that can spread easily to other school children in the classroom. HPV is spread only by intimate sexual contact.

I think it better, to avoid confusion, to use the word used here. That word is contagious.
Kudos to you Barbara for your last comments. They at least states two valid concerns from both sides of this argument, and you present a lot of facts which ironically point out good reasons to get the vaccine, which says to me that though you and I may not fully agree, you at least are not twisting the facts to suit your views. I commend you. And I feel I should clear up a couple of things, too (not directed at you, Barb).

First is that I am not fully on board for mandated OR compulsory vaccination in general, with one large exception. When a disease is ubiquitous AND life-threatening, and AFTER sufficient time has gone by that the vaccine has been determined to be safe, I then think it SHOULD be mandatory.

And the way something is transmitted might legitimately have something to do with whether a non-vaccinated child should permitted to be in a public school...that I'll concede.

As for those of you who still continue to consider this disease one that YOU can decide whether you want to protect your kids against, why? Why not measles or mumps? The chances of getting exposed to one of those diseases is practically nil. Why not tetanus? Are you also going to say that YOUR CHILD won't step on THAT KIND of nail? That it's YOUR choice whether your kid should be at risk for that? It's not a risk I'm willing to take with my daughter (and I'm encouraging my son to get it as well).

This idiocy of insurance paying for Viagra but not birth control? Makes me spitting mad.
Oh, and as for my stab at "preventable", that also was not directed at you, Barb, but at dunniteowl, who said:

"I don't support mandatory vaccinations for afflictions that are truly preventable, like HPV and especially would resist it being made only for a single gender when it is transmissable to both genders of a population."

HPV is not "preventable" except by not ever EVER having sex, period. Might as well say that flu is preventable. You don't have to breathe everywhere, right? It's your choice to breathe wherever you like.

And last OH...my only problem with the "it's my body" argument? It's not YOUR body we're talking about. It's those who haven't been exposed to the bad HPV yet. For most of us over 21, it's too late...been there, done that. It's those who are kids today (and their sexual partners) who would benefit.
"You owe me a real apology... Wow, you are WAY too sensitive!"

A "real apology"? Does this require flowers? And you think I'm the one who's too sensitive? *deep breath* Barbara, I'm not advocating any government come and strap you down to your sofa and give you an injection of a vaccine you have no interest in getting for whatever legitimate reason you believe in. And neither do most public health departments who offer opt-outs from vaccine mandates, it might be difficult, but they do exist and people do get exempt if they follow the process.

I'm sorry I misunderstood your post that to me read that you were insinuating something that you had not intended. The reason I got upset over your insinuation is because it's an issue that I'm passionate about, as you are as well I can see.
Dayna said: "That it's YOUR choice whether your kid should be at risk for that? It's not a risk I'm willing to take with my daughter (and I'm encouraging my son to get it as well)."

Exactly! That's why I had the HPV vaccine shortly after it was first available (long before I was ever sexually active) my mother felt it was necessary to reduce my chances of getting the most common varieties of the virus. Sure it's not a cure, and no it won't protect you from ever getting another kind of the virus, but why wouldn't you want to reduce you likelihood if you could? I don't expect to get AIDS or lung cancer either, but if there was a vaccine to help prevent it, these are diseases that are prevalent enough that it would be a good idea to get it, foremost to prevent death but also to prevent years of expensive health care services for patients with this illness.

Plus the fact that our hc insurance would cover the cost of the three-dose shots was the other reason I was able to get it when I did. Back then, if my doctor stated that it was medically necessary, my insurance plan covered it, but other plans are different and who knows if it's changed now. The other advantage of having a state mandate vaccines is that it would prompt insurance companies to cover most of the cost - thus removing the inhibitive cost barrier for families who want the shot.
Thanks to the author for conceding that I did not say what she thought I did.
And to the author - you had mentioned Perry. All I did was point out that his "opt out" was not really one (an opt out) as it required parents to opt out of ALL vacinations. (This is not much of a choice and this is why many see his action, Perry's, as an intrusion into their lives and the lives of their kids.)