We can probably guess why the governors of a Greater Manchester Catholic school don’t want their students to have a cervical-cancer injection, but they’re hotly denying it’s a moral issue.
The vaccine is against the human papilloma virus, which is responsible for about 70 per cent of cervical cancer. However, guess how it’s transmitted. Sexually, of course. And there’s the rub.
In spite of the fact that injections of one sort of another have been administered in schools since Pope Ratzo proudly wore his Nazi Youth uniform (and probably before, for all we know), it seems a weak objection on the part of the governors of St Monica’s High in Prestwich that school is not the place for these injections to be carried out.
Even the Catholic Church itself is said not to object to the injection, but some Catholics have voiced concerns that it could encourage promiscuity by giving the girls immunity and therefore confidence to go out there and get laid.
Whether having sex is a good thing or not at the age of 13, some girls are going to do it. That is just human nature and a fact. Given that as a fact, then, it makes sense – indeed, it’s a health issue – for all girls to receive the vaccine.
These girls are entering puberty. Do they not have rights? I suppose they can go off to their GP for it, but that’s putting more pressure on doctors’ surgeries when a programme is being rolled out to provide the vaccine in schools.
The governors are questioning, among other things, the effectiveness of the vaccine. So they’re experts in that, too, are they?
If this government really does have to insist on our having religious schools, it’s about time it made it a condition of their licence that they have to provide certain core services. Helping the process of looking after children’s and young people’s health has long been one of them.
It’s likely that some of the girls who are being denied the jab at school will not bother going to their GPs for one, and – well, you can guess the rest.