December 19, 2011
When Secretary Sebelius says that Plan B could pose health risks for teens, is she really thinking straight? After all, Dr. Megan Evans, in RH Reality Check, writes, “Tylenol is over-the-counter and far more dangerous with far more potential for adverse outcomes. Oh, and pregnancy in a ten- to 11-year-olds also has far more adverse outcomes than a small, but effective dose of Plan B.” Wise words. In fact, according to the Guardian, for every 100,000 American women who give birth to live babies, 16.7 of them die. And that’s not to mention the damage that post-natal depression can cause.
Evans’s grounded, intelligent point will doubtless be ignored by many. Witness that since news of the Plan B decision broke, parents have been stating how brokenhearted they’d be if their own daughter didn’t ask their advice before taking Plan B. This, they argue, supports Sebelius’s decision. But the ruling isn’t just about parents who adore their kids. It is also about young people who come from abusive families and are afraid to turn to their guardians for support. It’s about those who live in the middle of nowhere and can’t drive themselves to the doctor. It’s about those who have been date-raped and can barely think straight.
And it’s also about all of us, regardless of sex, gender and age, because when you control human sexuality, you control intimacy, life and the body itself.
I’d be surprised if that wasn’t a power trip.
Given these recent events, my political fantasy world has gone wild. I mean, what if young people felt so afraid of pregnancy that they decided to stop screwing the opposite sex, but decided, instead, to all start having same-sex relationships. “Don’t risk pregnancy,” they’d shout, “be gay! There are fewer risks!” I bet parents and politicians would be hitting the roof, showing their true homophobia, and Plan B would be in the bubblegum aisle sooner than you could say FDA.
Or what about if all the heterosexual under-seventeens who live in states where sex toys are illegal each ordered a vibrating rubber duck from Good Vibes, figuring this was safer than partnered sex without Plan B? This could prompt the Vibrating Duck Revolution of 2012. Fifteen year-olds throughout America would be sinking into their bubble baths, pledging their virginity to their rubber ducks. And what would the police do? Storm into these bathrooms and arrest these young rebels? I’m not being entirely ironic when I say they might. I’m sure families, religious leaders and politicians would go nuts. There’d be complaints about police pocketing ducks that weren’t theirs to pocket and there’d be anti-masturbation posters everywhere. “We do not have evidence to prove that vibrating ducks are safe for under-seventeen’s,” the politicians would announce. “Further testing is needed.”
See the mad place this is sending me to?
If Plan B is safer for an eleven year-old than Tylenol and they can also buy condoms in the bubblegum aisle, then the decision on Plan B is definitely a political one.
So. What’s Plan C?
A Final Note: This is the final installment of Hot Topic. I have so enjoyed writing at TNB and receiving all your wonderful comments. Thank you all so much for reading! I will still see you all on the TNB site, as part of the community. In the meantime, please do keep up with me. I blog, most days, at www.lanafox.com.
Be safe, be proud, be you.