Isn’t that a ridiculous conclusion? It’s as silly to say that giving access to Plan B, morning-after sex pills, will cause youth to be more sexually active as it is to say that having a condom in your purse or wallet or pocket is going to cause you to have sex.
Ridiculous. Just as ridiculous as saying that a 17 year old is old enough but a 16 year old isn’t. But that’s what Sebelius says in her completely unacceptable excuse for a truly stupid, incomprehensible decision about access to this medication.
The FDA made a clear recommendation, based on extensive review, that Plan B should be provided over the counter. Plan B is legal and FDA-approved, without a prescription, for women 17 and older. The FDA concluded that there was no medical or scientific basis for requiring 16-year-olds to get a prescription but letting 17-year-olds buy the drug directly from a pharmacist.
So where did this come from? Well, as much as it frightens me to say so, I have to assume that Sebelius is reflecting the administration’s wishes. And once again we are looking at decisions about our personal selves that are being driven not by our wishes or needs but, rather, by political expedience and pandering.
Part of Sebelius’ stammering excuse for her inexcusable action is:
“It is commonly understood that there are significant cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls and the youngest girls of reproductive age, which I believe are relevant to making this determination as to non-prescription availability of this product for all ages,” Sebelius wrote.
Republicans believe Plan B causes abortions, despite all of the scientific evidence to the contrary. Let’s face it – Intercourse causes pregnancy. A man’s penis in a woman’s vagina causes pregnancy. And an unwanted pregnancy can lead to an abortion. No one who wasn’t pregnant ever sought an abortion. And restricting access to forms of birth control can only lead to pregnancy – many of them unwanted and unplanned.
They say that the personal is political. What can be more personal than our right to make our own decisions about our bodies. Not having a pill available the morning after a young person engages in sexual activity isn’t going to stop them from having sex. It will just stop them from making a responsible decision about whether or not they want to give birth to and raise a child.
Shame on you, Secretary Sebelius. You’ve betrayed us twice – once because, as a woman, you should surely know how important it is to be able to decide if and when you would like children. You also betrayed us because we thought more of your integrity and morals and didn’t worry over-much that you would allow yourself to be pulled into the political machinations of the prohibition of pleasure. Shame on us both – us for believing in you and you for betraying our trust.