A vaccine to help prevent cervical cancer could send the wrong message, Catholic leaders in Calgary decided. Via TIME Newsfeed:
The female students in Calgary’s Catholic school system will be receiving one less shot than their public school counterparts. In 2008, a group of bishops led by Bishop Frederick Henry deemed that providing the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination — which guards girls against the four strands of HPV most associated with cervical cancer — to fifth and ninth-grade girls could be viewed as a compromise of Catholic teaching, because HPV is a sexually transmitted virus.
Children in Calgary’s Catholic schools were sent home with… a letter… instruct[ing] parents that “Although school-based immunization delivery systems generally result in high numbers of students completing immunization, a school-based approach to vaccination sends a message that early sexual intercourse is allowed.”
HPV Calgary says that by banning the vaccine, the church is literally endangering the lives of thousands of girls. Bio-ethicist Juliet Guichon told the CBC, “The physicians have told the trustees that they can predict with statistical certainty that there will be disease and death as a consequence of these children not receiving the vaccine.”