I’m not surprised that the fanatics at Focus on the Family and other groups on the Christian-Right lunatic fringe oppose vaccines against sexually transmitted diseases, even fatal ones, because vaccination might encourage sexual activity. But I’m still a little bit surprised (even after six years of such nonsense) to learn that one of them is on the FDA vaccine advisory committee and is using that position to fight approval of a vaccine against Human Papilloma Virus, which is causally associated with cervical cancer.
There are two political angles to this for the Democrats to ponder:
1. Is it possible that the combination of the South Dakota abortion law, the Plan B fiasco, and the HPV vaccine scandal can start to convince suburban “security moms” that reproductive freedom is really at risk if they keep voting Republican? How about a nice TV spot with a cervical cancer victim and a scientist in a white jacket explaining that the vaccine is ready but is being held up by bureaucrats and politicians?
2. Is it possible to organize scientists as an active political force? There are lots of them, and they’re paid decently. They have two important sets of interests at stake: a direct material interest in funding for research and education, and what Weber called an “ideal interest” in having decisions made on scientific grounds. But they’ve never been mobilized. Has someone started a Science PAC?