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Morality concerns greet new cancer vaccine

Mar 6th, 2009 | By | Category: Latest News, News

gardasilmain1THE cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil has sparked debate in the Catholic community over whether it promotes early sexual activity in girls.

The New Zealand Catholic Church officially approves of Gardasil being given to girls aged 12 to18, but some parishioners argue that it encourages promiscuity.

The vaccine programme started at the beginning of this year and is available to all schools.

The vaccine fights the two most common strands of the sexually transmitted HPV virus known to cause cervical cancer.

Bishop Patrick Dunn, of Auckland Catholic Dioceses, says the vaccine will not undermine efforts to promote chastity and to reduce non-marital sexual activity.

The church’s bioethics advisers agree, but stress the best way to avoid the disease is to abstain from sexual relations before marriage.

Some of the Catholic community disagree with offering the vaccine to young girls, arguing that Gardasil promotes promiscuity.  

A Wellington Catholic, Clare McClean, says unlike vaccines against other preventable diseases that people can just pick up, Gardasil is given to prevent possible consequences of immoral behaviour.

“Catholics aim to live, and help others live, moral lives,” she says.

An Auckland Catholic secondary school says it has received objections from “interested groups” and a couple of board members who don’t want the vaccine offered at the school.

The principal says they will be offering Gardasil and it is a decision for students to make at home with their parents or guardians.

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is a Whitireia Journalism student. She likes films, food and fashion. When she graduates she would like to work as a radio or newspaper reporter.
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