The morning-after pill -- made by Duramed, a subsidiary of Barr Pharmaceuticals -- is intended to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. It works by stopping ovulation and decreasing the chances that a fertilized egg will attach to the uterus. When used within 72 hours of unprotected sex, it can lower the risk of pregnancy by almost 90 percent, the maker says.
The casual nature surrounding the Plan B pill is extremely interesting to me. The pill will be available to "women age 17 and older" the FDA announced today. What child do you know classifies as a woman at age 17. I'm not even opening the conversation for true debate - I'm really just reflecting on what I know to be the case. Every memory of being 17 reminds me that 17 year olds are not women - they are children in more mature bodies. When I look around at the family members, church members, neighbors and friends who are 17, they too are not women. Young women in training maybe, but do we want Plan B to be part of their educational process?
For the most part, we're talking about young people who still rely on their parents for food, clothing and shelter. When, and if they work, they earn what my mother used to affectionately call "play money." Even when I worked as a young "woman" I wasn't responsible for my living expenses and upkeep, I was really just offsetting the tremendous expenses I was incurring. When I look at who I dated, the decisions I made and the person I thought I wanted to be - I realize that I have evolved into a much different person. Thank God. Instead of allowing young girls the time, space and ability to evolve into who they aspire to be, we have created a society that believes fast and easy is the answer for everything. And we're producing a generation of fast. and easy.
Planned Parenthood and every group that supports them may very well consider this a victory, which is a sad commentary on our evolution as a society and a community anyway. The real concern that I have, however, rests with the false premises associated with pseudo abortion as a family planning method. Since when does someone who doesn't qualify as an adult in any other context become woman enough to obtain medical treatment without parental consent? At 17 I had already graduated from high school, started college and moved into my "higher education experience". At that time I couldn't get an antibiotic without using the insurance card that was directly tied to the medical coverage my mother paid for. Allergy medicine required authorization. How in the world do we go from that to Plan B.
I surely wish we'd write more articles about Plan A. I imagine Plan B, Plan C and Plan D could have many alternatives other than the "Oops pill." Oops I shouldn't have had unprotected sex, so let me ingest an emergency (cough) contraception (cough) pill (cough), so that I don't have any of the consequences. If we continue to believe that the only damage done by poor judgment is physical, we are doing a disservice to the young ladies we are bringing up as the next generation. We have authored and labeled alternatives as if we are oblivious to the historical, cultural, societal, personal, emotional and financial implications of the choices being made. I know that someone will write, or think, its a woman's choice. I dare say, we aren't talking about women at all. This isn't a choice in my book - plan B offers more stunted growth in decision making. No wonder we can't problem solve or plan strategically, from an early age we're taught that there are no consequences to our choices.
We live in an oversexed society that trains young girls from birth that their value is tied to their sexuality and virtue, or lack thereof. When they are tweens we are preparing them for being teens. The new teen looks like the equivalent of your average 20 something - with less fashion taste, and even less sense. We try to make it better by saying that 17 year olds are women and spouting about their rights. With rights come responsibility, and I don't see very many children at age 17 being ready for all of those either. What can we expect of the women we are raising, when Plan B is covered in the media like something to celebrate as a culture. Plan A could be Abstinence. or Adoption. or Academics. or Athletics. or Aspirations. or the ability to actually grow up.
A better name for Plan B would be Plan F - we keep failing our girls.