Plan B drug debate is not about birth control
Dec. 16, 2011 at 6:16 a.m.
"Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon
Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Obama administration took what appeared to be an extraordinarily conservative position to block a FDA recommendation that would have allowed young girls, age 11 and older, to buy a morning-after pill over the counter without parental consent.
Predictably, the abortion crowd threw a temper tantrum, but Sebelius' explanation of her position leaves little doubt that, with a little more research, her office may have given this bad idea a green light.
Sebelius stated that essentially the FDA had not done enough research on this young age group resulting in insufficient data "to support the application to make Plan B One Step available over the counter for all girls of reproductive age." So let's get this straight; With a little more information, a young child could stroll into the drug store for her pregnancy pill, yet I have to present an ID card and a doctor's prescription to obtain insulin for my diabetic dog?
Back in 2009, the Obama administration did its part to hijack parental control by lowering the age limit for this drug to allow minors as young as age 17 to purchase the pill without parental or physician consent. Lest anyone think Sebelius' recent decision represents a reversal in abortion policy, it would help to examine Obama's own words on the subject. Back in 2008, Obama said, "I've got two daughters, 9 years old and 6 years old; I'm going to teach them first of all about values and morals, but, if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."
It paints an odd picture where a father lectures his daughters about values and morals, yet refers to an unborn child as a "punishment." Obama painted a similar picture during a 2008 DNC presidential debate when he was asked to give his opinion regarding the Supreme Court's then-recent decision making partial birth abortion procedures illegal. Describing it as "a profoundly difficult issue," Obama said, "I trust women (not the courts) to make these decisions in conjunction with their doctors, their families and their clergy." And then he changed the subject.
The supposed logic behind the Plan B push to provide easy access for children is in the hope that it will reduce teen pregnancy numbers, but does little to address sexually transmitted diseases. The Centers for Disease Control has found that chlamydia cases have risen by 24 percent and syphilis by 36 percent over the past four years.
Besides a rise in STDs, back in 2007, HealthDay magazine did a study based on 10 separate studies finding that emergency contraception use in Britain had increased by two to three-fold, "yet had no measurable effects on abortion or pregnancy."
The report found similar results held constant in both Sweden and France. It seems that the only thing morning after pills do is increase promiscuity and disease.
America is rapidly sliding down the road of no return unless we do something to quickly change direction. The Plan B pill debate has little to do with birth control and much to do with losing control.
Parents, there is something strangely missing in this conversation. Shouldn't we be talking about how 11- and 12-year-old girls are getting pregnant in the first place? Last time I checked, sex with a minor was a crime in every state in the union.
Maybe we should talk more about abstinence and how our actions have consequences. Instead of a pill, maybe "Plan B" should be a discussion about personal responsibility and adoption.
John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans." It's true.
While we're busy planning careers, families and finances - life "happens" - thus reducing our "Plan A" to a mound of rubble.
All any of us can do is roll up our sleeves and come up with a moral and sensible Plan B, because life does happen; it's what we do with what happens that matters.
Contact syndicated columnist Susan Stamper Brown via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.