The HPV Vaccine: Should Your Daughter Get It?

As I anticipated, my article on Catholic Exchange on this subject drew a fair amount of fire. (Also not a few attagirl’s from some of my readers (thanks, gals!). For better or worse, I was in Chicago when the article hit cyberspace, and so by the time I read the ensuing exchange, the verbal sparring had pretty much died out.

I did have one note in my e-mail box from a concerned reader. I’d like to share it here, along with my response, as my final thought on the subject. Although I appreciate that people have a wide variety of views on the vaccine itself, my primary purpose of writing the article was not to persuade people to get the vaccine for their teens, but to talk with their teens about the reasons some parents are choosing the vaccine for their children. There comes a time when a parent needs to do more than pray, and say more than “don’t.” I wish my parents had … and in retrospect, I’m sure they do, too. (Unfortunately, the best any parent can do is act on the information they have at the time … which is what makes discussions like this so important!)

And so, I leave you with this final exchange. God bless!

Dear Mrs. Saxton,I just read your article “The HPV Vaccine: Should Your Daughter Receive It?” on Catholic Exchange. Thank you for taking time to respond to this incredibly important life issue. I do disagree with your summary paragraphs which seem to instruct parents to get their daughters vaccinated (out of fear of uncontrollable circumstances), for dangers exist in receiving the HPV vaccine (oftentimes even fatal as you smartly pointed out in an earlier link). Sadly, I think Merck would love the overall sentiment off your article.

For many serious reasons Merck is a company to boycott. One reason: as stated on the Children of God for Life website: “For over 30 years Merck has been using aborted fetal cell lines in the production of vaccines, despite the fact that there are ethical alternatives that could be used. Further, when pressed to cease this immoral, unnecessary practice, Merck assured the American public that ‘No further fetal tissue would be needed now or in the future to produce vaccines.’ They have broken that promise by contracting with Dutch Biopharmaceutical company, Crucell NV, for use of their new aborted fetal cell line, PER C6 – taken from the retinal tissue of an 18-week gestation baby, which will be used in their new HIV vaccine. Not only do they refuse to listen to the voice of over half a million Americans who have written to protest, they continue to exploit our unborn and profit from the destruction of innocent human life. ”

FYI: two websites that may find helpful in further research:National Vaccine Information CenterandChildren of God for Life especially their page titled: “Gardasil HPV Vaccine – Get the Facts!”Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts.

Above all, we as mothers should continue to pray for God’s wisdom and guidance and to pray for our daughters’ physical and spiritual safety. Have a wonderful day. Peace,Denise Montgomery

Dear Denise:

Thanks for writing, and for sending me the information on the vaccine.

Like any mother, I do pray for the safety of my children — spiritual, physical, and every other kind. I also talk with my children about chastity, and about God’s wonderful plan for marriage (at a level appropriate for their age, of course). This is the task of every parent, to be the first and primary educators of their children.

My primary purpose in writing the article, however, was to get parents to consider the possibility that there comes a time when we need to do more than pray, and say more than “don’t.” My dear mother did both these things throughout my childhood … In fact, “don’t” was pretty much the sum total of my chastity training … just as it had been for her, from her mother.

It turned out to be not nearly enough. I did not have the information I needed to protect myself, and to stay safe … What was worse, I didn’t feel as though I could talk with my parents about what was going on in my life …. because I honestly didn’t think they wanted to hear about such things — the lectures were always one-way, from them to me: “Don’t.”

We need to do better. We MUST do better. God bless you!

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2 Comments

  1. Heidi, I read your article and linked to it on my blog because I thought it was so good. I did not get the impression that you were encouraging the vaccine at all. Rather, you were exploring the deeper issue of teaching our daughters about chastity.

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  2. We went through the same questions when they started giving the Hep B vaccine to all the kids. I talked to a very devout mother of 5 grown kids who is also a school nurse. She said, “Your daughter could be raped. She could also make a stupid choice in a moment of weakness. Rape or stupidity are not good reasons to die.” We went ahead with the vaccine.

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