Health Day News reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late Tuesday (April 30) approved the over-the-counter sale of Plan B One-Step, a version of the so-called “morning after” pill, for use as emergency contraception by girls and women aged 15 and older.
One thing that struck me about this decision is how it relates to statutory rape. In many states a person who is 15 years old is not old enough legally to consent to sex. Thus if a 15 year old has sex, especially with someone who is an adult, even if it is consensual, it is considered statutory rape because legally a 15 year old cannot consent to sex.
And now the US government is basically saying it is fine for 15 years olds to have sex and then have access to emergency contraception if they think they might get pregnant. Isn’t this decision a way of encouraging statutory rape? As one person commented, “So, basically, the US government just lowered the age of consent in America to 15 years old.” And we wonder why people are confused.
The numerous articles about this decision use terms like emergency contraception, unprotected sex, morning-after pill, reproductive rights and sexually transmitted disease. I also noticed that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the government agency that tracks the statistics for teen pregnancy. Is procreation a disease?
So often the first thing that happens when traditional values come under attack is the creation of a whole new vocabulary that depersonalizes the issue. But when it comes to this issue we are talking about real people who come from real families. Sexuality and procreation are some of the most precious gifts of God and it is such a shame to depersonalize them.
I suspect many are thinking that making Plan B available to 15 year olds will help the US bring its teen birth rate down but is that the best way to do it, with another pill that people can take in an emergency?
The news articles also reported that 15 year old children that purchase this product will have to have an ID to show that they are at least 15. Just where are they going to get this ID? They are not old enough to have drivers’ licenses in most states.
And although 15 years olds need parental permission to get medical treatment, dental care, go on field trips, learn to drive, and a whole host of other things, they won’t need parental permission to purchase Plan B.
And can we be sure that these drugs are really safe for 15 year olds?