Does Plan B empower predators?

Reproductive-rights groups think the morning-after pill, Plan B, should be available to any girl who wants it. They believe teens benefit from avoiding unwanted pregnancies. But some opponents say the drug actually endangers adolescent girls.

Shaw Crouse of the Beverly LaHaye Institute says that over-the-counter sales of these pills to females as young as 15, as the FDA has decided to do, "would make them available to anyone -- including those predators who exploit young girls." Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association warns, "A predator, thanks to this dangerous decision, can now take advantage of a vulnerable teenage girl and then send her into the local Walgreen's to cover his own criminal tracks."

What they forget is that a predatory older male gains absolutely nothing from the change. He can already buy Plan B and force the girl to take it. Of course, a sexual predator can also prevent pregnancy by using a condom or buying her oral contraceptives -- which, unlike Plan B, she can get from a doctor without an age restriction.

So Plan B doesn't help abusers. The lower age limit merely allows younger girls who would prefer not to get pregnant -- either from unprotected consensual sex or from rape -- to make that choice for themselves. If a girl is forced into sex by an older male, a forced pregnancy only compounds the crime.

Withholding Plan B from 14-year-olds doesn't empower them. It makes them victims twice over. That should be clear to anyone who truly has the interests of adolescent girls at heart. Either the critics don't, or they prefer not to see the obvious.



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