Who Decided My Daughters Are Women?

There are sound reasons why we choose to protect those under the age of 18 with certain legal restrictions. Unfortunately, all those reasons seem to fly out the window when it comes to “reproductive rights.” The Obama administration has decided not to fight a judge’s order to make the Plan B emergency contraceptive available to anyone without a prescription. Although the president himself is said to still be against selling Plan B to underage girls, as are the majority of Americans, apparently he will allow the FDA to simply throw up their hands in defeat.

In a letter Monday to U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman in New York, who has called the age restrictions “politically motivated” and “scientifically unjustified,” the administration said it would drop its appeal in the case and abide by Korman’s order to make Plan B One-Step contraceptive pills available to women and girls of any age without a prescription.

The age restrictions are “politically motivated”? It couldn’t possibly be that removing the age restrictions is a “politically motivated” response to the abortion lobby, could it? And “scientifically unjustified”? I love it when men with law degrees are given the power to decide which scientific research is valid.

How about just common sense? You can argue all you want about the efficacy of the drug and whether or not it is dangerous when used as directed. We have restrictions on buying drugs that contain pseudoephedrine because of the potential for abuse. Is there no potential for abuse with Plan B?

Those opposed to the sale have mentioned many of the pitfalls that can occur with this policy: Young women could use the drug as their birth control of choice. Over and over. Engaging in unprotected sex, and opening the door to STDs. There is the danger of having the drug slipped to them by a vengeful boyfriend or, even worse, by their abuser.

And just think of the immature mind: “It has to be taken within three days? Hmmm . . . It’s been a week. Maybe if I take, like, ten of them — that’ll do it.”

But the American Academy of Pediatrics thinks a fourteen-year-old is an adult, capable of dealing with the perils of sexual activity. 

Speaking at a news conference, Dr. Cora Breuner, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital, said the ruling made her proud “as a woman and as a doctor and as a mother of three children.

“This statement and this ruling are long overdue and especially welcome by all of us at the American Academy of Pediatrics,” Breuner said.

However, she said more needed to be done to be sure the pill was affordable to all women, regardless of their finances. It should be priced so that sexually active women 14, 15 and 16 years old can afford it, Breuner said.

I have daughters who are 16 and 14. They are top students, mature and capable, who can handle adversity. There is no way you could convince me that they would be able to deal with the swirling emotions and complexities of making this serious medical decision on their own. Perhaps they are not as “street smart” as the average girls their age, but is that how we should define the capability to make such decisions?

A certain lobby wants to pretend that there is nothing wrong with pre-teen/teenage sexuality and the use of emergency contraception, but we parents know our daughters. We know this is a battle worth fighting. For them.