Last week, the president threw America's parents and their daughters under a bus. And I'm hopping mad about it — and not just because I have a young daughter of my own.
First, a little history: In 2011, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the Food and Drug Administration's request to make the “Plan B One-Step” drug available to all women and girls without a prescription, no matter their age. Plan B is a so-called emergency contraception drug that its maker admits could “inhibit implantation” of a fertilized egg in the womb. Sebelius agreed with the decision to distribute the drug — but insisted girls must be at least 15 to purchase Plan B One-Step.
Well, that proved too much for federal judge Edward Korman (who is a Reagan appointee, by the way). In a decision that dripped with contempt for those concerned about the impact of the drug on young girls, Korman removed ALL age restrictions on the sale of the drug. He claimed they were “politically motivated” and “scientifically unjustified.” And to add insult to what will surely be many injuries to America's daughters, the Obama administration has just announced that it will not appeal the judge’s ruling.
Now, if you’re like me, you were somewhere between depressed and outraged in hearing this. My 14-year-old daughter can’t go on a field trip without my permission, but soon she'll be able to legally buy the morning-after pill without my knowing anything about it. Even 11- and 12-year-old girls will be able to pick up Plan B along with their candy bars and lip gloss at the neighborhood drug store.
What's next? Selling abortion drugs in junior high vending machines? (“No way!” you say? Well, they’re already in college vending machines. But maybe I'd better not give them any ideas.)
Even President Obama, the most abortion-minded president we've ever had, said that there ought to be an age limit on this Plan B. As he noted in 2011, the reason Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius insisted on an age limit was because “she could not be confident that a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old going to a drugstore should be able ... to buy a medication that potentially, if not used properly, could have an adverse effect.”
But if the president knows this drug is potentially dangerous, why did he abandon the fight to protect our daughters? Frankly, I've known 10-year-olds who haven't mastered the art of putting the lid back on a tube of toothpaste. And yet Judge Korman and President Obama are going to trust these kids to carefully read the instructions on a potentially dangerous drug, and take it properly? Are they kidding?
Plan B will have another destructive impact — and this, too, will harm our daughters. By law, children and younger teenagers cannot consent to sex; if they’re pregnant, it's a case of statutory rape — or worse, violent rape. Making Plan B available to young girls gives sexual predators another way to hide what they’ve done from their victims’ parents and doctors — and the police.
The sad reality is that even if there were an age restriction, teens would do what they already do with the purchase of alcohol: Get somebody older to buy the drugs for them. But we ought to be angry at what an arrogant federal government is teaching our kids. The law is a moral teacher, and it's teaching kids that parents are irrelevant.
You and I live in a time when government is actively undermining the family. We need to fight back. Congress can pass a law insisting that no child under 18 be allowed access to this drug, and that it be sold only with a doctor's prescription. Please urge your congressman to sponsor a bill to get this done.
But there’s other work to do, and John Stonestreet will talk about that tomorrow on BreakPoint.
Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.
Publication date: June 18, 2013