EDITORIAL: Shelving Plan B

Pssst! A government pusher’s got abortion pills for children

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The Justice Department decided Wednesday to appeal a federal judge’s order authorizing over-the-counter sales of the Plan B morning-after abortion pill without any age restrictions. It’s a right decision, if for the wrong reason.

The White House is playing the triangulation game, opposing a ruling that goes too far and supporting the Food and Drug Administration’s decision earlier this week, which goes too far but not as far as the judge did, lowering the age restriction from 17 to 15. That’s a hugely controversial change to the order by U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman’s April 5 order in Brooklyn, N.Y., that Plan B be freely available to all girls, no matter how young.

These potent pills are currently available to girls under 17 only by prescription. Without the appeal, Judge Korman’s dictate would trump the FDA’s new rule and make Plan B available to all without the advice of either physician or parent.

That stands the theory of in loco parentis on its head. A young girl can’t get so much as an aspirin from a school nurse without a parent’s permission in most states, and certainly not a hormonal drug with unknown long-term effects.

“There have been no studies on the drug’s effect on young girls,” says Anna Higgins, director of the Family Research Council’s Center for Human Dignity. “[Over-the-counter] sales could encourage repeat use, which is unsafe.” FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg insists that “women 15 years of age and older were able to understand how Plan B One-Step works, how to use it properly, and that it does not prevent the transmission of a sexually transmitted disease.” This is a dubious claim, even less credible when applied to girls 12 years old or younger who can walk out of a pharmacy with a powerful drug without the mature guidance of a physician or other adult.

Judge Korman’s dictate flies in the face of most states’ age-of-consent and statutory-rape laws. It’s easy to foresee a girl as young as 12, or even younger, pressured by an underage father to take Plan B to clean up his mess. It’s a recipe for recklessness, which seems to be OK with the abortionists at Planned Parenthood, who call the FDA ruling as an “important step forward.”

The left favors restrictions on just about everything else. New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is pushing to prevent anyone under the age of 21 from buying a pack of cigarettes. Federal law prohibits anyone under 21 from buying a gun. The first lady doesn’t want youngsters in school to have any access to potato chips or soda, but they can have a pill meant to end a life.

Just last week, President Obama spoke at a Planned Parenthood conference to burnish his pro-abortion credentials. By slowly rolling back the age at which Plan B is available, he can ensure that Congress can’t build the momentum needed to ditch Plan B in favor of Plan A, or abstinence, which works every time it’s tried.

The Washington Times

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