As if acting out a scene from a dark, futuristic tale, a federal judge in Brooklyn recently ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to lift the ban precluding the selling of “morning-after” abortifacient pills – marketed as “Plan B One-Step” – to minors over-the-counter.
In 2011, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius rejected a request from the FDA to allow girls under 17 to buy Plan B over-the-counter in drugstores and pharmacies. The Secretary declared that a doctor ought to be seen first. Viewing the matter much differently, U.S. District Judge Edward Korman of New York opined that age restrictions on over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pills are “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” and ordered reversal of the policy.
The judge reasoned that as long as an adolescent can read and comprehend the understanding of the label, the inclusion of a doctor’s prescription is unnecessary.
This regrettable view glosses over the value of a trained medical physician in the process. Prescriptions are mechanisms by which doctors evaluate young girls and assess whether they are being abused, coerced or manipulated. They can protect girls from predators. The wise instruction of a physician is critical to those who may be at risk from even more than an unplanned pregnancy.
In the wake of this judicial edict, it is now far too easy for impressionable young girls to make life-altering – as well as life-taking – decisions without the benefit of any unbiased counsel.
The Justice Department says they are contemplating whether to appeal this ruling, but what they’re contemplating is less than clear. The judge accused the Obama Administration of political expediency in applying the age-restriction, and considering the timing of the Secretary’s determination (in the midst of a campaign), the suggestion has merit. With the presidency in tow, the present willingness of the administration to spur loyal supporters comes into question.
The pro-abortion lobby is pushing for a culture where Plan B and other abortion-inducing drugs can be found on every street corner, with abortions being so cheap, so easy and so casual people will forget the implications of what they’re doing. Unfortunately, their plan is taking hold; we are steadily descending down that slippery slope.
In rural Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, Shippensburg University sells Plan B One-Step at cost in a vending machine, allowing the purchaser to put in money, push a button, and get the product. Other universities and public health centers are poised to follow. And after Judge Korman’s decision – eliminating concerns about the age of the buyer – our public schools could be next.
To counter this movement, we must be willing to stand up for life – by speaking up. We need to share the truth about abortions and abortion-inducing drugs, informing others of the real loss of life and costly pain associated with them. For if we stay silent, we shouldn’t be surprised – in the not so distant dystopian future – to see Plan B in A7, above the Snickers and to the right of Lay’s potato chips, in the junior high break-room.