As Lindsay says, it’s “an insult to the intelligence of all Americans, not just to teenagers.” Pollitt, as you would expect, is brilliant on this:
Sebelius claims that her reason is that the FDA didn’t show that 11 year old girls, some 10 percent of whom are fertile, understand how to follow the EC directions. Here are the instructions, courtesy of an alert commenter at www.nytimes.com:
“Plan B One-Step dosage consists of a single tablet taken once. A second tablet or dose is not required. The Plan B One-Step tablet should be taken as soon as possible and not more than 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure.”
If a sixth grader can’t understand those elementary, crystal-clear instructions, we should just move back to the caves, because civilization is finished. As has been pointed out, we assume middle-schoolers can handle Tylenol, which is not only easy to overdose on but has been used in suicides. If Sebelius is really worried about what kids can purchase at Duane Reade, she should start with products that actually can be used dangerously.
Barack Obama says that as the father of two daughters, he wants the government to “apply common sense” to rules about over the counter medications. Well, I too have a daughter, and so many many pro-choice women. Who died and made Barack Obama daddy in charge of teenage girls? Would he really rather that Sasha and Malia get pregnant rather than buy Plan B One-Step at CVS? And excuse me, Mr. President, thanks to your HHS, acquiring Plan B is prescription-only not just for 11 year olds but for the 30 percent of teenage girls between 15 and 17 who are sexually active, and is a cumbersome process for all women, who have to ask a pharmacist for it and, as many news stories have reported, be subjected to fundamentalist harangues and objections. Apparently it’s okay with you if Michelle is treated like a sixth-grader. I’m trying to think if there are any laws or regulations affecting only men in which unfounded fears about middle-school boys deny all men normal adult privileges. Needless to say no one suggests that underage boys get a prescription if they want to use condoms, or that grown men have to ask the pharmacist for them and maybe get a lecture about the evils of birth control and promiscuity.
It is important to remember that in addition to requiring teenagers to obtain a prescription during a very narrow time window, adult women will now still have to see a pharmacist to get emergency contraception. This might be OK if we lived in a country without a massive forced-pregnancy lobby and many pharmacists who believe they have a First Amendment right to interpose their religious beliefs between women and the medication they need. But we don’t.
And Obama’s invocation of the (trivial numbers of) 11- and 12-year-olds who get pregnant is such an obvious red herring you wonder who could possibly be gullible enough to take it seriously. Oh wait! As to Althouse’s belief that in order to prevent the sexual assault of young women we should put up arbitrary barriers that make it more likely that they will bear their rapist’s child, I’m going to vote “no.”