Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but women have been taking pills for a very long time now. I had to learn how to swallow pills when I was 12, after undergoing some outpatient procedure. Granted, this article seems to be more about Plan B and misuse in terms of taking too many pills, or not understanding the side affects, etc., but the way the administration is talking to women here is nothing short of patronizing.
The article on ThinkProgress.org (which I was linked to through Jessica Valenti’s tumblr) talks about how the Obama Administration recently tried to restrict the ages of people allowed to buy the over-the-counter contraceptive. A judge struck down the motion, fortunately, because “Plan B should be available over the counter for women of all ages.”
The article criticizes White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s comments regarding the Administration’s stance on this issue and writes:
“According to Carney, young girls may not be able to take the medication correctly if they do not first consult with a medical professional. “We do not have enough evidence to show that all those who could use this medicine, Plan B, can understand the label and use the product appropriately,” Carney said. “It could be dangerous if misused.” But that’s simply a distortion of the actual science behind emergency contraception. In fact, the morning after pill is safer than aspirin, which is obviously available over the counter to people of all ages.”
Obviously the Administration isn’t actively trying to prevent women from getting Plan B, but it does seem like they’re caving to right wing ideals that somehow young girls having access to the pill is going to make them more promiscuous, which isn’t the case. Sure, there are probably legitimate health concerns and some women may lack the capacity to read the back of the package and learn how to take the pill safely.
The article continues:
“Even though Americans tend to be squeamish when it comes to teen sexuality, and may prefer to pretend that teenagers aren’t having the types of sexual encounters that would necessitate emergency contraception, that isn’t an acceptable basis for a federal policy. Pretending that Plan B is somehow “dangerous,” even when all the scientific evidence says otherwise, isn’t an acceptable basis either.”
While I personally find this entire thing so ridiculous (and that’s coming from a self-proclaimed Democrat) because we shouldn’t even be discussing women’s health issues in 2013, let’s keep in mind that you have to be 18 years old to even buy cold medication in this country. This is why we can’t have nice things, people.
Bonus: A fun quip from Jessica Valenti’s tumblr:
“A lone genius woman figures out how to put a pill in her mouth and swallow. The next day, she won a MacArthur. “