For followers of absolute sexual abstinence, birth control and STI vaccines can appear both unnecessary and stressful. Folks holding that viewpoint directly associate those hallmarks of public health with the world of promiscuous teen sex.
And so, they avoid them at all costs.
That total aversion does, however, neglect some very real, non-sexual benefits of those medical advancements.
One Redditor found himself in the thick of that debate after his parents refused to use available remedies when his sister began to experience some pain and difficulty.
He decided to step in and help his younger sister out, and he did it all under the radar. But the siblings got caught.
When the jig was up, big bro found himself feeling guilty about the secrecy, so much so that he turned to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
25-year-old TurbulentComb9, as he’s known in the Reddit universe, proved that for some people, defying parents’ wishes doesn’t come easy even after the teen years.
His post began with some relevant background.
“My (25M) parents are very religious Christians. They are pretty okay usually, but are crazy about no premarital sex etc.”
“And in their minds this also means that you don’t need things like the HPV vaccine or birth control until you’re married. All because they ‘pushed’ you to have sex. Very flawed logic, I understand that.”
“They aren’t against any other vaccinations, however. HPV is the only one they refused to let us get.”
That “flawed logic,” as he put it, eventually proved to be a serious issue for his younger sister.
“When my sister was 15, she had been getting really bad period cramps and such. She missed school regularly because of it, and the doctors recommended getting her on birth control to help with it.”
“It was an immediate no from my parents. They were willing to try anything other than that. In the end decided to just exclusively pray for her recovery.”
“So sister couldn’t get on birth control and suffered every month because parents’ refused to get down from their religious high horse.”
And when the Original Poster (OP) stepped in to reason with them, he learned the parental blockade wasn’t going anywhere.
“After the first few initial attempts at convincing, I didn’t try to get them to understand why little sister needed birth control, and just started sending her money in secret to get it.”
“She’s 18 now, and doing much better. They thought their prayers were answered when sister started getting better. Parents were left in the dark for 3 years until recently.”
The true driving force behind the answered prayers, however, was eventually discovered when he and his little sister went one step beyond birth control.
“Recently, I went to get vaccinated for HPV. I didn’t know that men could also benefit from this vaccination.”
“I decided to take my sister along since I know for a fact she didn’t get this when doctor’s recommended it. We got it, and things were fine until my parents figured out I took my sister to the hospital and pressed her to find out why.”
“She came clean about everything.”
His parents did not handle the big reveal very well.
“Parents were furious. Started saying I was undermining their parenting, and that God would have listened to their prayers eventually and I’m just a horrible person overall.”
“Sister ended up moving in with me. My sister feels a bit guilty too, and has said that maybe we should have gotten our pastor to speak with them if they wouldn’t listen to doctors before we went behind their backs.”
The OP asked:
“AITA for getting my sister the HPV vaccine and birth control against our parent’s wishes?”
Redditors’ comments about the story were generally unified in their conviction that this big brother was Not The A**hole (NTA) at all.
They applauded his decision to step in and help his sister out, citing what could have happened if she didn’t get the medical attention she did.
“NTA. Your sister is incredibly lucky to have you. Your parents’ attitude actively contributes to pain, disease, and unintended pregnancy among young women.”
“As someone who suffered debilitating cramps until she went on BC at 16, I cannot imagine the psychological toll of my parents allowing me to suffer like that knowing there was an easy cure. You are wonderful for having helped her.” — minervasbiscuittin
“NTA – this is one of those times where the parents wishes aren’t as important as the child’s needs. Your sister suffered really bad physical pain, to the point of missing important says of education all because your parents have messed up ideas about birth control.”
“Honestly, you are a great older sibling who stepped up to the plate and took care of her when your parents failed in their duty to do so.” — KratosKittyOfWar
“NTA. I had a friend whose parents were like this in high school. They found out her boyfriend’s mom was giving them condoms and freaked out and put an end to it.”
“So instead she got pregnant at 15. Your sister is lucky to have you. Even if she’s not having sex yet, you did what was best for her health overall.” —11132K
“NTA. You are your sisters hero. Also, she’s an adult. They suck.” — AggravatingSpray3
Other comments took aim at his parents heavily religious outlook.
“NTA they were willing to wait for God to do something about it. In my eyes, even just for menstrual cramps, it torture and inhumane. You did what you thought was right and she came out better for it. Parents can kick rocks.”— Gold_Watering_Can
“NTA. You’re a great brother!”
“Tell your parents you prayed for forgiveness already and they should forgive you too. Its what Jesus would do.” — poopsiedaisie
“NTA. Religion doesn’t excuse stupidity. Your next move should be printing out google images of god looking rather angry, and putting them on the walls around the house.” — Musky93
Some Redditors had a little fun imagining how his parents’ God would actually fit in to the situation.
“NTA… I’m pretty sure whenever someone prays for help or a cure for something a doctor could fix he sits there rolling his eyes like, ‘I sent a solution for that to Earth years ago leave me alone!’ ” — mathlady89
“NTA. I mean, technically, you are the answer to their prayer. They pray to their god so that their daughter will get better. Their god “make” you to have the common sense to ignore their crazy and send her money.” — princesssunplug
“NTA, Try telling them God listened by providing a brother who cares for this younger sister. God works in mysterious ways.”
“That she has provided humans with intelligence to develop perfectly good healthcare so why bother her with requests when she has already given you the answer.” — palpatineforever
For all the arguing and ill will within the family, receiving the vaccine cannot be undone. Alas, if he can manage to shoulder the guilt, perhaps it was the best decision after all.