Gardasil and Women’s Experience

It seems that the vaccination against HPV, Gardasil may have contributed to paralysis in one 13-year-old girl and has had a number of complaints filed against it (from here and here).

Gardasil has faced a great deal of resistance (most vocally from religious groups – it turns the teenage girls promiscuous!), but despite has been approved by the FDA.

The reaction from here is that this is primarily an attack on women’s sexual health and freedom. It’s an attempt to spread fear.

However, in the context medicine regulating and shaping women’s reproduction it’s hardly unusual for procedures to be done for ‘women’s good’ without adequate testing and fully informed choice (examples include forced sterilisation, early IUDs, Depo-Provera and Norplant amongst others).

Futhermore, it is usually disadvantaged women such as disabled, poor or minority women that are targeted ‘for their own good’ and in clinical trials.  (h/t blackamazon). The price of sexual freedom for a few women came at the cost to these groups.