Teenage girls should not be pawns in the midst of puritanism. President Obama’s discomfort with the reproductive and sexual potential of his daughters and his catering to uninformed Republicans are more important than good science in dictating his unwillingness to support the F.D.A.’s recommendation to offer scientifically proven morning-after birth control to teenagers under age 17 without a prescription. The morning-after pill must be taken within 72 hours of intercourse to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
This is an appalling example of Obama caving to and becoming part of the right-wing, resulting in further erosion of his once stgrong political base. It doesn’t matter to Obama that mainstream medical groups such as the American Medical Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly agree with the F.D.A. decision. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius and President Obama believe they know more than these and other professionals about what is medically safe and effective with younger teenagers. If Catholic bishops, evangelicals and uninformed politicians are able to limit intelligent sexual choices, are scientists and educators to give in to their repressive bias and ignorance? I would hope not.
It is urgent that teenagers receive comprehensive sex education, and that they have access to birth control. Anything short of this encourages more unwanted pregnancies and unnecessary abortions. There can be no responsible sexual freedom if young and older women do not have the freedom to choose contraception and abortion. Plan B furthers a commonsense approach to sex that is sorely lacking among many politicians and the more rigid religious leaders.