Reni Eddo-Lodge is an English Literature undergraduate. So what qualifies her to write this column, well, I just can’t fathom…
Just yesterday it was revealed that a number of religious schools in the UK chose to opt out of providing female pupils the HPV vaccine – an immunisation that the World Health Organisation recommends young women receive to prevent cervical cancers.
It is an absolute scandal that young women are being denied access to the vaccine on religious grounds.
Well, not really. They are at a religious school. One therefore supposes that their parents are happy for decisions to be taken on religious matters.
Unless they aren’t really religious but have enrolled their children because the quality of the education’s better, in which case, they’ve not really got a leg to stand on when it comes to complaints…
Not only are some of these schools opting out of providing the injection, but they’re also neglecting to inform GPs of their decision – thus preventing young women from accessing the vaccine altogether.
Really? Is that all it takes to ‘prevent young women from accessing the vaccine’? Are you sure?
Schools that are failing to inform female pupils that they can access the vaccine outside of school premises are doing young women, and their health, a gross disservice.
Oh, please! It’s not like it’s a secret! If their parents want them to have it, they will arrange it. Why should the school get involved?
From peer pressure to “Christian values”, the reasons provided by schools that opted out of the programme are tenuous at best. One opted out because their pupils “follow strict Christian principles, marry within their own community, and do not practise sex outside marriage”. Whether that is or isn’t the case on an individual basis, no school should assume a monopoly over their pupils’ health based on religious belief.
But it’s presumably OK with you if they do so out of ‘social responsibility’, as with the case for pushing contraception and abortion advice into state schools?