(With vague apologies to OPP, for those who got it.)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today granted approval for Barr Pharmaceuticals to sell Plan B, an oral “morning-after” contraceptive, over the counter to women 18 years of age or older. The drug — consisting of the synthetic progesterone analogue levonorgestrel, which acts by variously inhibiting ovultation, fertilization and probably endometrial implantation — can prevent pregnancy when two pills are taken 12 hours apart within three full days of bumpin’ uglies. President Bush is even in favor of the plan (more on this below the crease).
Naturally, anti-abortion groups and other champions of “values voters” (whose primary stumping points include gay-bashing, anti-science legislation, and various other too-familiar solecisms) are irate, trotting out the usual arguments: Teen promiscuity will spiral out of control (as if teens are keeping their pants zipped as it is) and STDs (now properly called SDIs, I believe) will skyrocket. The first point is an interesting one, given that only adults will be able to legally purchase Plan B without a prescription under the new guidelines.
While opinions regarding contraception and abortion wary widely in the U.S. owing to both religious and practical considerations, those complaining about the FDA’s move might be able to present a stronger case for their postion if it wasn’t obvious they have no clue what the f*ck they’re talking about. Lying is a sine qua non of religiously contrived moral arguments, but in this case wingnuts’ genuine ignorance seems to be running neck-and-neck with their prevarication.
For example, Focus on the Family expressed “shock” at Bush’s support for the plan. Spreading her ass cheeks wide, Carrie Gordon Earll, the organization’s senior analyst for bioethics (a position tantamount, I assume, to a putative committee for cultural diversity within the Ku Klux Klan) bent over and forcefully expelled:
“”What this is going to do, very likely, is give a free pass to older men who want to prey on younger girls for sexual behavior. Plan B, in essence, becomes a free ticket to prey on teenage girls.”
Yes, because these older predators are known for their conscientious attitudes toward unwanted pregnancies, and only now will start coming out of the woodwork to ply their nefarious trade. Christ in a cantina.
And a gripe at ProLifeBlogs.com — which quotes a beef from the Family Research Council — was filed under the category “Chemical Abortion.”
Repeat after me: Plan B is a contraceptive, not an abortifacient. It cannot terminate an active pregnancy, as can RU-486. Even if “pro-family” advocates were aware of the distinction — and were able to comprehend that wider availability of Plan B will, without question, drastically reduce the abortion rate in America — it wouldn’t make a difference because all non-procreative sex is bad, m’kay?
The FRC contends that this is a step backward for women’s health. On what basis the group, of course, doesn’t say. Nor does it support its claim that the FDA has overstepped its authority in acting as it has, an assertion which begs the question: Who should be in charge of regulating drugs? The Nuclear Regulatory Commission? The Southern Baptist Convention?). But that’s the beauty of catering to that chunk of the citizenry thhat checks reason and pragmatism at the door and relies solely on ideology and raw emotion when it comes to forming opinions about ethics, science aned policy — you don’t need to present facts when rattling giant sabers will do the trick.
Nevertheless, although Bible brigadiers look even dumber to the cognizant when they let fly with salvos that only highlight their own intellectual laziness, they don’t look any dumber to one another, and that’s a problem.