The Obama administration’s decision to drop all efforts to block the sale of the morning after pill deeply troubles me. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the controversal abortion pill to be sold over-the-counter with no age restrictions.
The FDA’s rule falls within the law. Yet, common sense has been violated once again.
First, let’s get a few things right on the table. I am a pro-choice Democrat and always will be one. A woman should have the right to decide how to prevent and deal with unwanted pregnancies. That said, I am personally opposed to abortion unless the mother’s or child’s life is in danger. Pro life advocates will label me as someone who wants their cake and eat it too. I could not disagree more. My position is consistent with a society based on the freedom of choice.
Second, I am realistic about today’s world. Teenagers are going to have sex and often at far too young an age. That does not mean adults have to accept the status quo without as much as a whimper.
And that sums up the problem I have with the decision of the government to make this leap: the core problem is unaddressed. Kids are being raised with inconsistent values and caving to peer pressure so that they fit in with the crowd. Meanwhile the issue of when and the consequences of becoming sexually active is lost.
The consequences to which I speak go beyond unwanted pregnancies. One, there is the lack of emotional maturity to deal with and understand the intense emotions that accompany having sex. Second, and somewhat related, kids at an early age have no idea what love entails. Maybe I am a bit old-fashioned but I strongly feel that making love with someone is just that. Sure there is a physical yearning but even more should be a loving connection that is both heartfelt and spiritual. A serious relationship should be in place before one takes the next step. The values kids have these days are misplaced when it comes to sex.
Last when it comes to the possibility of pregnancy, the morning after pill, which must be used within 72 hours after having sex, eliminates the life lesson that comes from living with the consequences of one’s action. Many couples prior to marriage have been in a position where the possibility of pregnancy presents itself. I have experienced that reality twice. While both times the person I was dating turned out to not be pregnant, it forced me to evaluate the relationship in a positive way. I had to make a decision on my recommendations to how we should proceed if the opposite was true. It is a healthy process.
I am pretty certain there does not exist a pregnancy test that can determine of conception took place within 72 hours after having sex. Does it make sense to put young people in a position where they can say the hell with it and just pop a pill? This is treating one of life’s most important decisions, before and after sex, like an allergy. Looks like the pollen is going to be off the charts today, so let’s take a Claritin.
Those who say blocking the over the counter sale of this drug is a direct affront to a woman’s reproductive rights are missing the point. This drug should only be available to kids after they discuss their intentions with a physician, both parents, and even a psychologist so that all the issues can be addressed.
The morning after should be reserved for something more special than going down to CVS and getting a pill.