This column by SFLA President Kristan Hawkins originally appeared on CNSNews.com
President Obama is waging a War on Girls by allowing young children to get Plan B without a physician or parent’s care or knowledge. Use of Plan B does NOT reduce abortion rates, but it does increase a whole host of dangerous risks. This is not “reproductive justice;” this is child abuse.
Common side-effects of the morning after pill include nausea, vomiting, lower abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, and dizziness – not fun for your kiddo to go through – but, it can also have fatal side-effects because Plan B has been known to cause blood clots, heart attacks or strokes.
Most alarmingly, when emergency contraception fails and a girl becomes pregnant, which Plan B says happens one out of eight times, it triples the risk of ectopic pregnancy. Children cannot understand these risks and, without a doctor’s supervision, an ectopic pregnancy could continue, every day becoming more and more dangerous to her health and life.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards was predictably excited about any attempt to sacrifice women and children’s health on the altar of “choice”:
“This is a huge breakthrough for access to birth control and a historic moment for women’s health and equity. The FDA’s decision will make emergency contraception available on store shelves, just like condoms, and women of all ages will be able to get it quickly in order to prevent unintended pregnancy.”
The doublespeak in this statement is remarkable: “women’s health” and “women of all ages.” It is important to note that this decision lowered the age for obtaining the morning after pill over the counter from 15 years old and older to ANY age. This new policy does not affect “women,” it affects little girls!
And, of course, Richards tries to emphasize the words “prevent unintended pregnancy” without telling you that it can also end the life of a pre-born child that has already begun.
Plan B® One-Step’s website says it “works similar to regular birth control pills,” but with a larger dose. One of the primary ways it works is by “Altering the endometrium, which may inhibit implantation.” Translation: it can cause abortions by preventing the zygote, a tiny human in its most vulnerable stage of development, from implanting.
The morning after pill is a megadose of the birth-control pill, which has been categorized by the World Health Organization as a Group I carcinogen. That’s the highest possible ranking – cigarettes are also in Group I. So why are drugstores required to put cigarettes behind the counter and ask for a photo id to stop minors from purchasing them, but President Obama is now ordering the morning after pill be sold over the counter to minors, next to candy bars and packs of gum?
President Obama has said in the past that his administration “could not be confident that a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old going to a drugstore should be able – alongside bubble gum or batteries – be able to buy a medication that potentially, if not used properly, could have an adverse effect. And I think most parents would probably feel the same way.”
What has changed in the last year and a half to give him that confidence?
This is not a victory for feminism. It is perpetuating violence against women and rape culture by allowing rapists to continue to prey on children and then cover up their crimes.
Dr. John Bruckalski, an OB-GYN and advisor to our medical outreach organization Med Students for Life (Med SFLA), has said of allowing Plan B access to minors, “With partner violence at epidemic levels, the possibility for abuse of this powerful steroid in an at-risk population of our younger women is profound. This is another example of how medicine is moving away from the doctor-patient interaction because of political expediency. Abusive partner relationships that will affect our children throughout their life, increasing pelvic pain and infertility via sexually transmitted diseases will increase because of this legal maneuver.”
Dr. Mary Catharine Maxian, another Med SFLA advisor, agrees and says children “are also at risk of the severe emotional distress of a breakup after having done something very intimate with another person. It is also possible that the teenager is having sex because they are a victim of rape. The only one of these risks that is addressed by any form of contraceptive pill is pregnancy. Emergency contraception covers up very risky behavior. Making it available to anyone may cause us to miss the opportunity for parents to step in and help protect these young girls from the other risks associated with sex. It is irresponsible not to care for the whole person. Our young people deserve better than for us to help them hide risky behavior.”
Proponents want Plan B available over the counter but studies show that access to the morning after pill does not reduce abortion or pregnancy rates – whether obtained before or after unprotected sex:
- Advanced Provision of Emergency Contraception Does Not Reduce Abortion Rates in the Contraception Journal said, “No effect on abortion rates was demonstrated with advanced provision of EC. The results of this study suggest that widespread distribution of advanced supplies of EC through health services may not be an effective way to reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancy in the UK.”
- Direct Access to Emergency Contraception Through Pharmacies and Effect on Unintended Pregnancy and STIs published in the Journal of the American Medical Association began with the context, “It is estimated that half of unintended pregnancies could be averted if emergency contraception (EC) were easily accessible and used,” but found that “compared with controls, women in the pharmacy access and advance provision groups did not experience a significant reduction in pregnancy rate.”
- Advance provision of emergency contraception for pregnancy prevention: a meta-analysis from the Obstetrics and Gynecology Journal concluded, “Advance provision of emergency contraception did not reduce pregnancy rates.”
Cutting parents and physicians out of the equation further increases the risks to young girls. Dr. Anita Showalter, an OB-GYN and frequent speaker on Med SFLA tours, explains why:
“Contraception management is an opportunity for physicians to counsel patients in regard to their at-risk behavior and test for sexually transmitted diseases. A concern for the teen is immature decision making which puts their compliance and proper use of this medication in question. While no one argues the need to decrease teen pregnancy rates, making it easier to get emergency contraception means teens are less likely to receive counsel, guidance and screening while engaging in high risk behaviors.”
The bottom line is this: Plan B does not reduce pregnancy or abortion – the main reason proponents claim they want it accessible to anyone of any gender at any age. But, it does increase the risk of cancer, ectopic pregnancy, and side-effects ranging from uncomfortable to fatal, which is made even more dangerous by cutting out physicians and parents from the equation.
This decision abandons our girls to rapists and child abusers and sacrifices their psychological and emotional well-being. This is the real War on Girls.