March 11, 2004

Class Action Bonanza?

An article over at Clayton Cramer's Blog on condoms has opened my eyes to some interesting Democrat coalition fissures. It's a case of the free love feminists against the trial lawyers.

It seems that HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that is not stopped by condom use. rates vary widely from 1% to 88% depending on the population. Men are asymptomatic but women with HPV can get cervical cancer. California already has warning labels but Democrats are balking at making them a national requirement.

The problem is that cervical cancer fears from a disease that has no effect on men might make women have far fewer sexual partners, restoring female chastity to some extent. This makes free love advocates and feminists on the left very unhappy. On the other hand, tobacco litigation experts have got to be salivating over the idea of a product that is known to cause a crippling and sometimes fatal disease but carries no warning label.

If it weren't a life and death issue, the political implications would be highly entertaining to watch as they play out. Unfortunately, people are and will be dying because of this political fight so a lighthearted mood is highly inappropriate. The bottom line is that condom mania is just not an appropriate attitude if what you really care about is public health.

Posted by TMLutas at March 11, 2004 09:12 PM