Erring On The Side Of Life

During the CNN/Tea Party debate in Florida, one topic in particular became the focal point of attack on Texas Governor Rick Perry. Congresswoman Bachmann, in particular, went on the offensive against Governor Perry on this issue.

While Governor Perry said that his decision had been wrong, and he would not make the same decision again, he also added that in matters of life, he will always err on the side of life.

The topic continues to be debated from the political side of things, in regards to the motives of Governor Perry’s decision, the fact still remains that Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a very real disease with very real consequences. It is also the most common sexually transmitted disease.

While the exact statistics for those infected with HPV varies, the numbers are still astronomical! According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in America. It affects the genitals of both males and females. It can also infect the mouth and throat. Most people who have HPV do not realize they have the virus, and therefore, unknowingly spread the disease to any sexual partners they may have.

There are between 40 and 70 separate strains of HPV, some of which can cause cervical, anal and other genital cancers.

From 2003-2004, a team with the CDC calculated the total number of women in the United States aged 14-59 who were infected with the HPV virus to be nearly 27%. This means more than 1 in 4, which equals nearly 25 million women in the United States are infected with HPV.

More current statistics state that at least 50% of sexually active men and women contact HPV at some point in their lives.

I am one of those 25 million women. I am a statistic.

I was diagnosed with HPV in my early 20’s, which is the most common age group of those infected. I have had numerous procedures to remove cancerous cells from my cervix. Every procedure was very painful. With every procedure the waiting game started over. Will my next PAP Smear come back bad?

It’s now been nearly 10 years since I’ve had a bad PAP Smear. I am very faithful in going to have my yearly Well-Woman exams, in the hopes of preventing any further issues. However, my choices in my late teens and early 20’s resulted not only in a sexually transmitted disease, but a common side effect of HPV is infertility. After many years of trying unsuccessfully to conceive, my husband and I adopted our children. While I love my children with everything in me, and know that God has a purpose and reason in all things, the fact still remains that my actions started a chain reaction. Thankfully, in the end, the chain reaction ended well. However, there were many, many years in between that were very painful- emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.

You very well may be one of these statistics, and never realize it.

While I still stand by the fact that I do not believe it is the government’s place to make medical decisions for citizens, it is also quite understandable how the facts are astounding! While I still disagree with Governor Perry’s executive order, which he later rescinded, I understand his sentiment that cancer is a very real disease. I also understand his statement that he will always err on the side of life.

Governor Perry has since discovered there are many risks with the Gardasil vaccine. There are also many risks with no vaccine. There are enormous risks if we do not teach the concept of choices and consequences.


What are the signs and symptoms of HPV?

While statistics show that most people who contact HPV never show signs of HPV, and in 90% of people the body’s immune system clears the virus naturally within two years. However, sometimes HPS infections are not cleared up and can cause further issues, which include:

  • Genital warts- can often be seen, but in some cases they cannot be.
  • Rarely, warts in the throat, known as recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP)- can block the airway, causing a hoarse voice or troubled breathing
  • Cervical cancer- usually does not have symptoms until it is quite advanced.
  • Other, less common but serious cancers, including cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx (back of throat including base of tongue and tonsils)

The strain of HPV that causes genital wars is not the same as the strain of HPV that causes cancers. At this time, there is no way of knowing if a person who gets HPV will develop cancer or other health problems.

HPV is passed by genital contact, most often during vaginal and and anal sex. It can also be passed on during oral sex and genital-to-genital contact.  It can be passed on between straight and same-sex partners, even if the infected partner has no signs or symptoms of the disease.

A person can have HPV even if it has been years since since they’ve had sexual contact with an infected person. It is possible to contact more than one type of HPV.

On rare occasions, a pregnant woman with genital HPV can pass HPV to her baby during delivery. Very rarely, the child can develop juvenile-onset recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (JORRP).

How common are HPV and related diseases?

HPV (the virus). Approximately 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. Another 6 million people become newly infected each year. HPV is so common that at least 50% of sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives.

Genital warts. About 1% of sexually active adults in the U.S. have genital warts at any one time.

Cervical cancer. Each year, about 12,000 women get cervical cancer in the U.S. Almost all of these cancers are HPV-associated.

Other cancers that can be caused by HPV are less common than cervical cancer. Each year in the U.S., there are about:

  • 1,500 women who get HPV-associated vulvar cancer
  • 500 women who get HPV-associated vaginal cancer
  • 400 men who get HPV-associated penile cancer
  • 2,700 women and 1,500 men who get HPV-associated anal cancer
  • 1,500 women and 5,600 men who get HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancers (cancers of the back of throat including base of tongue and tonsils) [Note: Many of these cancers may also be related to tobacco and alcohol use.]

Certain populations are at higher risk for some HPV-related health problems. This includes gay and bisexual men, and people with weak immune systems (including those who have HIV/AIDS).




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One Comment

  1. “While I still disagree with Governor Perry’s executive order, which he later rescinded”

    Allenah, do you believe in credible news? Or do you just regurgitate without fact checking? Sorry to be so harsh, I do admire your articles, but in under 5 minutes of fact checking on my own, I have debunked your assertion that Perry rescinded his executive order. That isn’t even close to the truth. Fact is, both Texas houses passed a bill to rescind the governors order. Facing defeat, Perry allowed HB 1098 to pass into law WITHOUT his signature. He NEVER rescinded his executive order, HB 1098 did it without his signing it.

    Fact string….

    22 FEB 2007: AUSTIN — A House committee handed a stinging rebuke to Gov. Rick Perry by voting to rescind his executive order requiring pre-teen girls to be vaccinated against a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. Passage is all but guaranteed since 90 of the 150 House members have signed on as co-sponsors, said the author of House Bill 1098, Rep. Dennis Bonnen.
    Perry spokesman Robert Black said the committee’s vote doesn’t change the governor’s position.

    14 MAR 2007: AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas House gave final approval on Wednesday to a bill blocking state officials from following Gov. Rick Perry’s order that schoolgirls be inoculated against the virus that causes cervical cancer. (Bill now headed to Texas Senate)

    Perry’s stance then: “I do not understand why we as a people would not take this opportunity to use this vaccine … to the benefit of our children,” Perry said late last month.

    25 APR 2007: AUSTIN, Texas (BP)–The Texas Senate easily passed a bill April 24 reversing Gov. Rick Perry’s controversial order requiring young girls to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer.

    10 MAY 2007: During a news conference on Tuesday, Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) announced that he would let HB 1098, which rescinds his order that all girls entering the sixth grade be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV), become law without his signature.


    Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,258764,00.html#ixzz1XtVaJA1f




    1. Max, be as harsh as you like. For me, this is a non-issue, as it was resolved. Whether it was Perry personally or the Texas Houses, the fact of the matter it is not required. Is Perry not telling the truth on things? Quite probably. Is Romney not telling the truth on things? Quite probably. Is Bachmann not telling the truth on things? Quite probably (the mental retardation sob story… GIVE ME A BREAK!)

      As far as for me personally, I would do whatever I had to do- personal responsibility for me and my family- to do what I feel is right and necessary in our situation. Mandated vaccinations, education, whatever the situation. I can’t control or dictate the way other people handle their households. Yes, it IS still my choice, no matter the law! There is a VERY REAL POSSIBILITY that one day owning firearms will be against the law. So I will be breaking the law. I STILL have a choice, no matter what the law is. Again… THAT IS THE POINT of this article. Choices and consequences. Plain and simple.

      Quite honestly, no, I have not dug into all the legislation, the trail of when it started, who’s desk it went to, what changes were made, etc. So the bill was rescinded. It’s not law. Perry messed up. You see him as Obama in a mask. So if it comes down to Perry or Obama, what will you do?

      I will continue to stand by Newt Gingrich and (paraphrase)…. ANY of the candidates would be better than Obama!

      I think it is ABSOLUTELY GREAT that we vett these candidate- ALL candidates. UNLIKE the MSM, it is our job to do that! I do not expect everyone to agree with me on everything. Ask the hard questions. You are going to see things differently that I am, and vice versa. That’s the beauty of personal choices and free will.

      Keeping all of this in mind, one of my colleagues hit the nail on the head with this article: https://conservativedailynews.com/2011/08/the-holy-candidate/

      Conservatives, Libertarians, Republicans and Tea Party members alike would do well to take it to heart, as well as this one I previously wrote: https://conservativedailynews.com/2011/08/2012-election-will-require-much-wisdom-from-conservatives/

      1. I couldn’t let this logic go unanswered,

        “Max, be as harsh as you like. For me, this is a non-issue, as it was resolved.”

        How can glossing over the facts be a non-issue? Perry didn’t rescind the order! The purpose of “independent journalism” is to maintain impeccable integrity. By using your logic, gun control zealots should be summed up as people who “rescinded their agenda” when they lost the Heller v. D.C. case.

        Mimicking MSM isn’t a good idea. I’m just saying.

        1. This article, this issue for me, is a non-issue for me- personally. I do not know how else I can explain it to you. There are many other things I do not agree with Perry on. This is not one of those issues. You call it glossing over facts. No, facts are facts, are facts. You stated the facts. He is not the one that rescinded, so, I was mistaken. I stated that no, I had not tracked down the information step by step by step in the legislative process as you have. Even knowing the facts you laid out- so, it’s not glossing over facts, it’s accepting your facts that you researched- this issue is still a non-issue for me. It is a personal thing. It is an issue for you. You have that right, just as I have the right for it to not be an issue for me.

        2. I have made the correction to the news article regarding this, and have enclosed your links you provided. To quote Governor Perry from the last article link you provided:
          “It is time to move this issue from the political arena to the court of public opinion where real lives are at st[ake], and it is time to do so without delay.”

          Again… this is MY personal opinion. YOU have a different personal opinion as does every other person in America. As he said, the court of public opinion. If more people agree with you, he’ll be out of the race. If more people agree with me, then America will move on to other issues to question him on- like immigration. Otherwise, this Gardasil issue will remain the political 3-ring-circus it has become. the real test comes down to We The People as a collective. Who will win? Only time will tell.

  2. “So if it comes down to Perry or Obama, what will you do?”

    It won’t be easy. It would be like having to choose between which bullet to stand in front of… the one traveling at 2200 FPS, or the one at 1250 FPS. Either way my freedom is dead.

    Judging by my age and life circumstance, I think I’ll choose the faster one. Dragging out a slow death is useless.

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