Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann recently said a woman had told her the woman’s daughter suffered mental retardation after taking the H-P-V vaccine. But a U-S-A Today editorial pointed out that after 35 million doses, there is no link between mental retardation and the vaccine against human papillomavirus.
Representative Bachmann says it is “flat out wrong” to have “innocent little 12-year-old girls be forced to have a government injection”.
H-P-V causes almost all of the 12,000 cases of cervical cancer that occur every year, killing about 4,200 women. The best time to administer the vaccine is before girls become sexually active.
Candidate Bachmann knows what all American politicians know; fear is a great motivator … especially when it comes to motivating voters.
I share Bachmann’s apparent discomfort with government involvement in such personal matters as a woman’s reproductive organs. In matters of public health, elected officials ought to deal in fact and avoid fear-mongering.
Our thought for today is from Marie Curie:
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”