Is There a Plan B for Plan B?

120323-planB-hsml-oom-5p.380;380;7;70;0I don’t have kids.  But if I had a daughter and she was say around 12, would I want her to be able buy Plan B without my say-so or even knowledge?

The Obama Administration has decided to offer Plan B, the emergency contraceptive, to women over the age of 15 without a perscription.  All those under 15 have to get a percription.  That goes against a judge who ordered that the drug be made available to all women without a script.

Of course, most women’s groups tend to favor the judge’s ruling.  It’s about the women’s health, the say.

Yeah.  I’m pro-choice and favor comprehensive sex-ed and I even favor giving kids condoms.  But going back to have my hypothetical daughter (I’ll name her Harriet, because I’ve always liked that name).  I don’t know if I want my little girl being able to go to Target and get birth control when they aren’t even able to drive.

It’s not that I can protect a kid from having sex.  I think parents have to do the best they can in telling kids the good and the bad of sex.  But I don’t know if I want to give pretend-Harriet the equivalent of the car keys when she may not even be ready emotionally.

Columnist Kathleen Parker echoes these concerns:

There’s no point debating whether such young girls should be sexually active. Obviously, given the potential consequences, both physical and psychological, the answer is no. Just as obvious, our culture says quite the opposite: As long as there’s an exit, whether abortion or Plan B, what’s the incentive to await mere maturity?

Advocates for lifting age limits on Plan B, including Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, insist that the pill is universally safe and, therefore, all age barriers should be dropped. From a strictly utilitarian viewpoint, this may be well-advised. But is science the only determining factor when it comes to the well-being of our children? Even President Obama, who once boasted that his policies would be based on science and not emotion, has parental qualms about children buying serious drugs to treat a situation that has deeply psychological underpinnings.

What about the right of parents to protect their children? A 15-year-old can’t get Tylenol at school without parental permission, but we have no hesitation about children taking a far more serious drug without oversight?

These are fair questions that deserve more than passing scrutiny — or indictments of prudishness. A Slate headline about the controversy goes: “The Politics of Prude.” More to the point: The slippery slope away from parental autonomy is no paranoid delusion. Whatever parents may do to try to delay the ruin of childhood innocence, the culture says otherwise: Have sex, take a pill, don’t tell mom.

There’s the question of what is the church’s role in all of this.  Maybe abstinence-only education is a bad idea, but at times it seems the alternative is just as bad.  Do I want Harriet to join the “hookup culture?” I want my kid to have knowledge, but I also want to still be kids and not little adults.  What does it mean to be a follower of Christ sexually?  Sexual ethics has to be more than safe sex.

Of course, I don’t want to see any girl get pregnant at a young age, but having sex is more than preventing pregnancy.  Are the kids emotionally ready?  As Parker notes, this isn’t just about science, it’s about emotions and those matter too.

But of course, I’m not a father and I’m a guy.  But I still feel like making Plan B so easily handy is forcing kids to grow up way too fast.