The news that a Catholic high school in Prestwich is refusing to allow its girls to be vaccinated against cervical cancer is all over the mainstream media, so it is unlikely to be news to Freethinker readers.
But the extraordinary thing about this case is not the fact that members of the governing board of Saint Monica’s Roman Catholic High School appear to be putting their own moral/sexual squeamishness above the health of the girls in their charge.
It is the fact that they are denying it.
Of course, it could be entirely irrelevant that one of the Governors, a Monsignor John Allen, said of the HPV vaccine,
Morally it seems to be a sticking-plaster response. Parents must consider the knock-on effect of encouraging sexual promiscuity. Instead of taking it for granted that teenagers will engage in sexual activity, we can offer a vision of a full life keeping yourself for a lifelong partnership in marriage.
And it might be true that, as it says on their website,
Moral considerations such as those reported in the Manchester Evening News for 24th September did not form any part of the Governors’ decision.
But it does seem to be a strange coincidence that the only school in the country denying its girls the opportunity to have this potentially life-saving jab administered on its premises – for vaguely stated reasons of parental choice and clinical hygiene – just happens to be run by an organisation notorious for its unhealthy obsession with sex in all its forms.