The Catholic Church and Kenya's government are at odds over a vaccine that religious leaders say is a sterilization drug disguised as a tetanus shot. The Church is advising women not to vaccinate themselves or their children because they might ruin their reproductive future. Meanwhile, political leaders say the drug is harmless.
Back in March, bishops became leery of a new government vaccination push targeting only women between the ages of 14 and 49, eschewing boys and men. After independently testing the drug, the Church leaders say they found it was "laced with a birth control hormone called beta human chorionic gonadotropin," according to Religion News. And if you can't trust the impeccable science of the Catholic church, whose can you trust???
The Kenyan Ministry of Health says their department didn't test the vaccine for safety because the drug came from the World Health Organization, which began sponsoring the shot's push last year, targeting 2.4 million women. It also denies that the drug is secretly birth control, but Church officials are choosing to believe their own set of facts.
According to the bishops, when the ordinary tetanus vaccine is combined with b-HCG and given in five doses every six months, the women develop immunity for both tetanus and HCG, a hormone necessary for pregnancy. Subsequently, the body rejects any pregnancy, causing repeated miscarriages and eventually sterility.
In the shadow of California's recent law to end forcible sterilizations in state prisons and the eight women who just died in India from botched sterilizations, a dubious shot distributed in an African country is not wholly unbelievable. However, the fact that this information is coming from Catholic officials hellbent on ending birth control makes me feel like I'm watching Rick Perry tell me he really likes women while offering me poisoned BBQ.
Image via WHO.