What’s a Woman?

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Once again, in the headlines about yet another court ruling that finds no good reason to allow restrictions on emergency contraception to “women” below a certain age, one does a double-take. At what age do you qualify as a woman who can make the most intimate decisions about her body and sex without parental consultation? Without a parent’s permission?  

In discussions of administering Plan B in schools and other issues involving parental consent, the example of schools requiring parents’ permission to give out Tylenol is always made, and it speaks to the madness. It’s as if the sexual revolution has robbed us of the common sense to recognize that a 13-year-old – or younger – is not a woman. We all too often resemble a culture of overgrown adolescents. How about letting children have their innocence?

Instead we woke up Monday morning to the Michael Douglas how-I-got-throat-cancer story. It led the headlines, as if to say: “See, this is why you have to drug and vaccinate the kids early.” Because who’s ever going to expect them to control themselves?

This is no way to live.

Editor’s Note: This post has been amended since its initial posting.