Sebelius and Plan B: Another look.

posted at 7:55 pm on December 8, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Tina already covered the news coming out about Kathleen Sebelius pulling the plug on plans to allow pharmacies to dispense the Plan B “morning after pill” to children “of child bearing age” today, but I was left with some other thoughts on the subject which I’d like to toss out for discussion this evening. But before we start, I’d like to get one thing out of the way. It would be very easy to turn this into yet another discussion about abortion, given the nature of the product, but that’s not what has drawn my attention.

Long time readers already know that I have a somewhat annoying, libertarian view on the entire abortion question, which leaves social conservatives calling me a baby killer and progressives saying I want to shoot abortion doctors and keep women barefoot and preggers in the kitchen. It’s not something I care to tear up the interets with yet again. The question for me here is the profoundly illogical idea that Plan B should be available to children in the manner described.

The response from the Obama administration was half hearted at best, mostly because the statement issued by the president began at a starting point of effectively saying, “we would have allowed this change, but the science isn’t convincing enough to persuade us that younger girls would understand the directions and use the product safely.” That was enough for me to begin throwing things at my television.

The real question here isn’t whether or not the product is “safe” enough, or the directions for use are “clear enough for a child to understand.” The real issue is that we are talking about children and the dispensing of a product which profoundly impacts their development and level of supervision. I really don’t care how you may feel about the whole issue of abortion, birth control or medicine in general if you’re an adult in this case. But you can’t even have a teacher giving an aspirin to a 13 year old girl in school without the permission of the parents. You can’t legally let a child get a tattoo without the parents signing off on it.

Are we to seriously consider the question of whether or not a child should be able to get birth control (of any form) without the parents being involved in this decision?

I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. A progressive or a conservative. If there’s anything in this world we might be able to agree on, wouldn’t you think that it might be that parents have a responsibility to be involved in these intimate aspects of their child’s life? Just for the sake of argument, let’s say that you are a very liberal minded parent who – for reasons that boggle my mind as a man – doesn’t mind the idea of your 13 year old daughter having sex. Fine. It’s your family. But wouldn’t you want to know? Wouldn’t you want to be involved in the process of educating her about the dangers of STDs, unwanted pregnancy, and the social complications which arise from entering into that type of physical relationship when their body may say it’s ready but their mind hasn’t matured enough to handle all of the baggage such things entail?

Plan B isn’t a miracle drug that cures acne. If it were, I might consider the possibility that it could be dispensed to a teenage child who was embarrassed about the teasing they received at school. It also doesn’t cure the common cold. (Wouldn’t that be nice, though?) This is a product which has no use for anyone who isn’t engaged in – or considering being engaged in – a sexual relationship. And aren’t parents still, even in this modern age, at least somewhat responsible for guiding their children through that potential minefield? My God, it’s hard enough to deal with as adults!

Sebelius may have made the correct decision – endorsed by the President – but it was for all the wrong reasons. I have libertarian roots which make me tend to want the government to stay out of the business of adults who live their lives and don’t cause harm to anyone else in the process. But surely most of us can agree that the government can acknowledge that parents need to be intimately involved in these matters with their own children.

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KAHNNNNNNNNNNNN!

50sGuy on December 8, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Well, it’s an act of human psychology to form opinions that self-protect.

The big issue is respect for vulnerable human life. It’s either human-alive at conception or “it” isn’t and can therefore be discarded as inconvenience-not-human.

Or, worse, as human-inconvenient.

Children as with some adults don’t reason these critical things through. Nor do children, as also some adults, understand how to use medications (of any kind).

Thus, the rest of us try to do what we can to help the rest exercise greater awareness of just what they’re doing as to the vulnerability of human life, especially in it’s earliest, most vulnerable stages.

Lourdes on December 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Kids can’t get ears pierced without parental permission.

rbj on December 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

wouldn’t you think that it might be that parents have a responsibility to be involved in these intimate aspects of their child’s life?

does not compute
-liberal

cmsinaz on December 8, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Kids can’t get ears pierced without parental permission.

rbj on December 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

They can’t play sports without permission. This is truly silly.

CW on December 8, 2011 at 8:07 PM

I had a class of preschoolers once who were preparing, at my suggestion, to prepare a batch of brownies that they’d later serve to their adult parents as a Christmas present.

The children, of course, were poised to jump right into handling all the ingredients when I told them they had to first wash their hands.

One of them asked me, “why” and the entire group stopped and stared at me, waiting an explanation.

I said, “because of germs; we have germs on our hands and we wash them before handling food or eating food because it helps to minimize exposure to germs.”

The quick response: “what are ‘germs’?”

So I tried to briefly explain what they were to inquisitive and puzzled expressions among the kids.

Looking at their faces, I then said, simply, “you have to wash your hands…because you have to.”

Every single child jumped up and ran to the sink, where they each and all washed their hands.

Children understand these simple directives that remove the learning curve when actions and behaviors and results are concerned. More of us should be taught an appreciation for human life, as we are taught an appreciation for the lives of puppies, cats, kittens and other animal life.

Lourdes on December 8, 2011 at 8:07 PM

But you can’t even have a teacher giving an aspirin to a 13 year old girl in school without the permission of the parents. You can’t legally let a child get a tattoo without the parents signing off on it.

This is a perfect example of the total hypocrisy of American liberalism.

This is why I noted in another thread, that liberalism is NOT and NEVER has been formed from principled thought based on logical reasoning. Therefore, it shouldn’t be “dignified” with the term ideology.

Liberalism is a mish-mash of contradictory policy positions based on the whims of those whose only concern is personal power.

Conservativism sees limited government as a necessary agent of protecting basic societal norms (rule of law, self defense, for example.)

Liberalism is based on the view of government services as a “commodity” to be traded for political power and personal wealth.

Conservatives ask “Where’s the need for government involvement?”

Liberals ask “Where’s my cut?”

LaserBeam on December 8, 2011 at 8:10 PM

This was a trial balloon.

Show of hands:

How many parents even KNEW that this drug was available OTC to anyone 17 and over?

HOW MANY parents knew that this Plan B “pill” is an actual Cancer drug that was formulated to terminate a pregnancy?

How long has this drug been on the market? Who approved it? When? Why?

WTF is Plan B, and who sold it to my daughter without my knowledge and consent?

Key West Reader on December 8, 2011 at 8:14 PM

Never forget the relationship between Sebelius and Tiller the Baby Killer…her motivations in this area will be far from pure…she is one vile human..

I rest in the confidence of a Judgment Day…

hillsoftx on December 8, 2011 at 8:15 PM

At the top of Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams fretted: “The Obama administration blocks a plan to make the ‘morning-after’ pill more easily available to young girls. Is this about medicine, politics or something else?” Moments later, he proclaimed: “We begin tonight with this surprise decision that takes us right to the intersection of medicine, science and politics.”

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/#ixzz1fzne7qWU

But you can’t even have a teacher giving an aspirin to a 13 year old girl in school without the permission of the parents. You can’t legally let a child get a tattoo without the parents signing off on it.

So I wonder will NBC come out in favor of children being given any type of drug without parental involvement in the name of science?

CW on December 8, 2011 at 8:15 PM

More of us should be taught an appreciation for human life, as we are taught an appreciation for the lives of puppies, cats, kittens and other animal life.

Lourdes on December 8, 2011 at 8:07 PM

The same liberals who condemn eating animals as “immoral” will tell you that abortion is “humane”.

They must be so very sorry their mothers didn’t draw the same distinction.

LaserBeam on December 8, 2011 at 8:16 PM

How many parents even KNEW that this drug was available OTC to anyone 17 and over?

Key West Reader on December 8, 2011 at 8:14 PM

Not me. Obviously 18 makes sense in this world but 17? I guess they can start going to R movies …why not an abortion pill? Makes sense./

CW on December 8, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Liberalism is a mish-mash of contradictory policy positions based on the whims of those whose only concern is personal power…
 
LaserBeam on December 8, 2011 at 8:10 PM

 
Yep. An 11 year old getting a toy in her Happy Meal = Disgusting
 
The same 11 year old getting an abortion pill = Awesome

rogerb on December 8, 2011 at 8:19 PM

I think there comes a time and place where good people gather together and hold hands, and just take a collective sigh.

A sigh of relief. A sigh of knowledge. A sigh that knows we’re all going to be okay. A sigh of pride, pride in our Nation. A sigh of sorrow; you know… that big ole heavy sigh.

Hoo.

Key West Reader on December 8, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Kansas, what were you thinking?

SouthernGent on December 8, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Parents definitely need to take more responsibility for their kids in this day in age.

Uppereastside on December 8, 2011 at 8:28 PM

The same liberals who condemn eating animals as “immoral” will tell you that abortion is “humane”.

They must be so very sorry their mothers didn’t draw the same distinction.

LaserBeam on December 8, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Well, I’m sorry their mothers didn’t. Would have solved a lot of problems.

MikeA on December 8, 2011 at 8:30 PM

I don’t get this leftist obsession with killing babies. Athletes have to go for a physical before playing sports but your daughter can just run down to the local pharmacy if she thinks she may be with child after a night of whoopie with her bf. What a country.

Kissmygrits on December 8, 2011 at 8:35 PM

But surely most of us can agree that the government can acknowledge that parents need to be intimately involved in these matters with their own children.

No, we can’t. That state-control mindset wants parents out of the loop, because parents can’t be trusted to make the right decision. It thinks of the will of parents as an impediment. And that way of thinking isn’t new to Plan B, it’s been pervasive.

Axe on December 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM

I am supposed to restrict my daughter’s access to acetaminophen or ibuprofen, but she can go to the store and get an morning-after pill? So allowing my girls to be used by men and boys trumps their safety? What a scam.

daj on December 8, 2011 at 8:52 PM

ot/ welcome daj!

Axe on December 8, 2011 at 9:19 PM

We have an economy in a death spiral, a military that is tapped out fighting wars that they are not allowed to win, an international terrorist threat, an unsecured border with a lawless country, a hardcore marxist regime intent on ‘fundamentally changing’ America, and yet we have time for several articles on Plan B?

Ahem. Priorities?

CorporatePiggy on December 8, 2011 at 9:19 PM

I 99% agree with you, but….what about children that don’t have parents? It’s all well and good to think about the situations where the parents are understanding and thoughtful, but what about the kids who live with grandma? or a drug addict? or who are being abused by parents? I’m against it in any case, but ignoring these issues kind of glosses over the argument.

peachaeo on December 8, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Jazz, I’m way to the right of you on the abortion issue but I completely agree with your post. I was alarmed that Sebelius et al seemed just to gloss right over the issue of an 11-year-old (!!!) birth control user. How in God’s name is that ever OK? And apparently no one considered that this can be used by pedophiles to destroy evidence of their crimes.

Parents definitely need to take more responsibility for their kids in this day in age.

You got that right. My older daughter is nine; just a couple more years till it’s time to start snooping.

mrsknightley on December 8, 2011 at 9:33 PM

An 11 year old getting a toy in her Happy Meal = Disgusting

The same 11 year old getting an abortion pill = Awesome

rogerb on December 8, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Liberalism in a nutshell.

Now pardon me while I go throw up.

Splashman on December 8, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Looks like a solid B+ decision…

Mcguyver on December 8, 2011 at 9:58 PM

I think there comes a time and place where good people gather together and hold hands, and just take a collective sigh.

Key West Reader on December 8, 2011 at 8:21 PM

There are also times, that come more and more frequently these days, where good people bang their heads against the wall yelling, “STOP IT…..STOP IT…..STOP IT…..STOP IT…..STOP IT…..STOP IT…..”.
This is only a brief respite; it won’t last.
I only hope that the headaches and dizziness comes to an end next year.

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on December 8, 2011 at 11:18 PM

Axe on December 8, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Thanks!

daj on December 8, 2011 at 11:20 PM

We have an economy in a death spiral,

Covered repeatedly here.

a military that is tapped out fighting wars that they are not allowed to win,

Covered repeatedly here.

an international terrorist threat,

Covered repeatedly here.

an unsecured border with a lawless country,

Covered repeatedly here.

a hardcore marxist regime intent on ‘fundamentally changing’ America,

Covered repeatedly here.

and yet we have time for several articles on Plan B?

Ahem. Priorities?

CorporatePiggy on December 8, 2011 at 9:19 PM

There is plenty of room at HotAir for all. This story is high in emotional intensity with a small reporting window. You get all you can from it in the 1-2 days it lasts, then go back to the long-term issues you mentioned. That is how both reporting and opinion-gathering is done.

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on December 8, 2011 at 11:29 PM

Forget about any concern for parental consent for a minute. What about a prescription from a licensed MD? You can’t buy contraceptive drugs without a prescription, which oh by the way requires at least annual checkups with said MD to make sure nothing is amiss. Not to mention that those drugs don’t always turn out to be so safe. Yaz, anyone?

But the plan here was to allow the unrestricted sale and use of a drug that reliably terminates very early stage pregnancy, without any medical supervision. This would have been irresponsible bordering on insane.

Sebelius “didn’t make the right decision for the wrong reason”. The political officers in the Obama administration made the decision for all the right reasons, namely that what the FDA was proposing was nuts, and politically indefensible. They just can’t admit that is why they did it. And the fact that they had to couch their decision in “scientific” blather to appease their base speaks volumes about the sick mindset of their supporters in the abortion lobby.

platapapin on December 9, 2011 at 12:08 AM

And speaking of Brian Williams, NBC tonight did a big rehash of the problems with the brand name contraceptive Yaz, which is actually pretty old news at this point. Unless of course you want to remind everyone that there can be problems with contraceptive drugs, and some oversight is a good thing. And in case we hobbits didn’t make the connection, they followed that up directly with another story about “the Obama administration’s decision to overrule the FDA on Plan B in order to insure more study of the potential risks.

Utterly shameless.

platapapin on December 9, 2011 at 12:16 AM

Plan B isn’t a miracle drug

Neither are any contraceptives. Taking a hormone pill to prevent normal child stuff like acne is stupid and so are the side effects of oral contraceptives, like say… breast cancer.

Gatekeeper on December 9, 2011 at 1:09 AM

HOW MANY parents knew that this Plan B “pill” is an actual Cancer drug that was formulated to terminate a pregnancy?

Key West Reader on December 8, 2011 at 8:14 PM

Cancer drug?

“Plan B” is Levonorgestrel which is a progestin.

Progestins are used in both birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.

Wendya on December 9, 2011 at 6:02 AM

Show of hands:

How many parents even KNEW that this drug was available OTC to anyone 17 and over?

HOW MANY parents knew that this Plan B “pill” is an actual Cancer drug that was formulated to terminate a pregnancy?

How long has this drug been on the market? Who approved it? When? Why?

WTF is Plan B, and who sold it to my daughter without my knowledge and consent?

Key West Reader on December 8, 2011 at 8:14 PM

OK, you got me. 19 yr old son, 15 yr old daughter and somehow this passed under my radar. When I asked the wife, she knew…but I got caught unawares. Hard to keep up sometimes……makes me feel old.

Renee on December 9, 2011 at 7:02 AM

But you can’t even have a teacher giving an aspirin to a 13 year old girl in school without the permission of the parents.

Actually, Jazz, this goes the other way: you can’t send your kid to school with any kind of medication, no matter how responsible he might be at self-medication – it has to be administered by the school medical staff. A 13 year old girl can’t have a pain killer to take with their lunch because they are dealing with a painful beginning to their womanhood – they have to go and get it from the nurse. But, if Johnny or Jane wants to go pick up a condom from said nurse, you don’t have a right to know about it.

Really, this is all about the visceral need for certain liberals to ensure that *nothing* gets in the way of abortions and consequence-free sex.

GWB on December 9, 2011 at 9:13 AM

HOW MANY parents knew that this Plan B “pill” is an actual Cancer drug that was formulated to terminate a pregnancy?

Key West Reader on December 8, 2011 at 8:14 PM

I think you are confusing Plan B with RU486.

Plan B is a mega dose (quadruple in fact) of birth control. It can’t terminate a pregnancy. It’s used to disrupt ovulation or fertilization, the same as all other birth control pills on the market. If implantation of a fertilized embryo has already occurred, Plan B can’t terminate the pregnancy.

RU486, Mifepristone, is an abortifacient, which does terminate a pregnancy.

I’m not sure what your “cancer drug” comment is in reference to.

cmsciulli on December 9, 2011 at 10:43 AM

The problem with an administrative decision like this one is that it is in no way permanent, and even if “politically indefensible” now, that metric changes after the next election if BHO manages to win re-election.

A trial balloon indeed.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on December 9, 2011 at 1:00 PM

I wish these people would stop trying to “help” my children and let me be the parent.

LV22309 on December 9, 2011 at 2:35 PM