September 16, 2011

Sexual politics in the US

Michele Bachmann is continuing to take a well-deserved pounding on her irresponsible publicizing of a claim by some person she said she met who said that her daughter had become mentally retarded as a result of taking the HPV vaccine.

What started out as an effective attack on Rick Perry, suggesting during Monday's debate that he had issued an executive order mandating that the vaccinations be given to all young girls in Texas in return from contributions from the vaccine manufacturer Merck, has now become an albatross around her own neck. In doing so, she has deflected attention not only from Rick Perry but from the important question of how drug companies are unduly influencing decisions about health policy.

NPR interviewed Steven Miles, the bioethicist at the University of Minnesota who offered a $1,000 reward if Bachmann could provide "a properly signed medical release form so that these documents can be reviewed by highly qualified neurologists to see if this claim is true." Bachmann has not responded to NPR's queries about this challenge to produce the document. Miles further said that, "If we had a vaccine that would prevent a nonsexually caused cancer that affected 10,000 women a year, this would be a no-brainer. This controversy over the HPV vaccine is about the sexual politics in the United States. It is not about the medicine."

Miles is absolutely right. The thought that somewhere some people might be having sex outside of marriage totally freaks out the religious right.


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No matter what position you are in society, everything should really be thought through before publicly stating something. The old addage "think before you speak". We all tend to make this mistake.
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Posted by Rob on September 16, 2011 10:56 PM