Editor’s Note: This article was published as an op ed in USA Today on Friday, December 9
The outrage coming from abortion advocates over Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ decision not to allow girls under 17 to purchase the Plan B contraceptive without a prescription shows just how far out of step they are with most Americans.
But the pro-life movement welcomes Sebelius’ decision, and hopes that HHS will revisit the question of whether Plan B should be available over the counter to anyone.
In rejecting a recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration that younger teens be allowed to buy Plan B over the counter, Sebelius said there are significant cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls and the youngest girls of reproductive age.
Any parent knows this is true. But this wisdom is lost on the pro-abortion lobby, which is demanding Sebelius reverse her decision, sacrificing girls’ health to their radical ideology.
Sebelius should stick to her guns. Opening up over-the-counter sales of Plan B to young girls would invite them—and the older men who so often prey on them—to engage in risky sexual behavior. It would drive a wedge between parents and their children, while cutting doctors out of the loop, too.
But it’s worth asking what effect easy access to Plan B has on the older teens girls and women who can already buy the pills without a prescription. Are not they, too, more likely to make unhealthy sexual choices with Plan B so readily available?
We in the pro-life movement are also concerned with the abortifacient potential of Plan B, which can kill an unborn child in the earliest days of life by preventing implantation in the mother’s uterus. Many women would not choose to use Plan B if they knew it can cause an early abortion—but they’re far more likely to remain in the dark when they don’t even need a prescription to get this powerful drug.
Some have claimed that Sebelius’ ruling was motivated by politics, an effort to offset the Obama administration’s otherwise aggressively pro-choice agenda. But whatever her reasons, Sebelius made the right call on this one—and most Americans realize it.