Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Response to Courier

The Louisville Courier-Journal issued another in what seems a regular series of attacks on The Family Foundation in general (and me in particular). Today's editorial can be found here. The editorial was apparently written in response to two stories that ran last Friday in which I was quoted, one in the Lexington Herald-Leader, and one in the Courier-Journal.

Here is a draft response to today's editorial:

In a recent editorial, the CJ wrote in support of Kathy Stein’s bill calling for the forced vaccination of girls as young as 9 year-old with a vaccine that has not even been tested on the age group on which it is to be used. Then, not content with supporting the transformation of school children into medical guinea pigs (and trampling on parental rights in the process), it looked around for someone opposed to the scheme whose position it could mischaracterize.

According to the editorial, we said that little girls would interpret mandatory middle school HPV vaccinations "as permission to sleep with their boyfriends." Obviously it would be a stretch to assume that accuracy was important to the CJ, but we should point that we didn’t say that.

Until your reporter called us, we hadn’t even made a public statement on the issue, but we were asked for our opinion and we gave it. That was apparently taken as license to portray us as conducting some kind of campaign against Gardasil, a drug whose use we support.

However, the Vioxx debacle should be a warning to those who actually care about people that just because the drug companies have marketed a drug and packaged it with promises does not guarantee it is safe.

Maybe someone could develop a vaccine that would prevent journalists from supporting bad legislation and then lying about people who disagree with it. When they do, we’ll be there to support making it mandatory.

1 comment:

Trishy said...

While I do disagree with some of the issues that The Family Foundation stands for I emphatically agree that Kentucky's girls should not be forced to have the Gardasil vaccine.

The vaccine has not been tested on this age group and is also very new to the market with no long term studies. The vaccine is to prevent cancer that is caused by a virus THAT IS SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED. The chances that a teenage girl in Kentucky will get pregnant are far greater than the chance that she will get HPV and later cervical cancer from it. Why doesn't Kathy Stein introduce a bill for mandatory Depo Provera injections on all of the teenage girls in the state to prevent teenage pregnancy as well? The girls do not have to have sex just because they are on birth control but if they do the chances of them getting pregnant are very small. Just to claify, because the internet does not convey sarcasm well, I do not support mandatory birth control for teenage girls or any other women.

Finally, I have read in the few places that parents could get a religious exemption from the vaccine. I have not read the bill so I am not sure that there is not language that provides for a specific exemption from this vaccine only. I can say from experience that obtaining a religious exemption for children to attend public school while not fully vaccinated is not an easy process. Kentucky only allows religious and medical exemptions. What about parents who are not religious but do oppose thier daughters receiving this vaccine that prevents a cancer that is caused by a sexually transmitted virus? It is my hope that this new law does not pass. I do feel strongly that if it does Ms. Stein should also introduce legislation that provides Kentucky's parents to use a philosophical vaccine exemption.