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1 shutdown  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 11:17:51am

I agree that restricting access to Plan B has the negative impact descirbed in the article. I also believe that the restrictions were put in place at least in part pursuant to political considerations by the administration. These qualifying statements having been made, I would like to start a discussion here (thanks ggt for the post!).

Following the decision by Sebelius, I had a discussion with my wife about the restrictions. We are both on the socially liberal side of the spectrum. My wife has a Masters in microbiology, and is in the advanced stages of obtaining a MPH (Master of Public Health), with a focus on epidemiology. She is also a medical resident. We put aside our politics for purposes of the discussion, including our dislike of the reactionary GOP nominees and their ilk. What we came up with was that there are issues of public health at stake that go beyond the prevention of pregnancy. Consider that STDs, including - but not limited to - AIDS, along with cervical cancer are major issues in the social and economic sectors discussed in the article (not only for them, but the article deals with a specific slice of society). Consider further that young girls may find themselves pressured to engage in unprotected sex in the knowledge that Plan B would be freely available afterwards as a form of insurance agains unwanted pregnancy. Condom use is already very difficult to promote amid a rise in unprotected sex. Young teen girls might be seen as gaining protection against unwanted pregnancy while giving up a mental and behavioural safeguard against unprotected sex, opening up the possibility of STD transmission.

This broadening of the scope of the discussion is important, because a 13 to 15 year old is not as mature, or decisive in her relationships as an older teenage girl. Girls at this younger teen age are susceptible to pressure as well as argumentation that certain sexual practices are fine unprotected; unprotected sex has experienced a significant rise in recent years. Newtonian Laws apply in this situation, as well: no action without an opposite reaction. Restricting access to Plan B will likely have certain negative effects; however, it would be naive to assume that free access to the drug would have no deleterious effects at all. This is a decision that society has to make, and implement through our lawmakers; but we should make the decision with all the facts in mind, and not simply as a reaction to the political environment.

Simply making a drug available is only an answer to preventing unwanted pregnancies; it is not the answer to the HIV crisis and the transmission of other STDs and the contraction of cervical cancer. Sex and health education in this country are desperately inadequate in view of the real needs of our kids. Prevention and education need to extend beyond pregnancy alone.

2 FemNaziBitch  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 11:23:38am

imp_62

Without comprehensive factual education about reproduction and health in the public schools AND/or parents who are comfortable enough with their own sexuality to be able to educate their children, there are no good answers.

All we can do is try to make private medical services available to those that need and want them.

I would like to live in a world in which every child is created in love and wanted — I’ve come to understand that humans are involved.

3 Simply Sarah  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 11:33:22am

re: #1 imp_62

While I can understand where you are coming from, I am concerned with some of what you seem to be presenting as reasons for why Plan B should not be totally OTC.

You seems to be implying that it would result in an increase in unsafe sex or young women being pressured into unsafe sexual conduct. There may be some small bit of truth to this, but I’d counter that many young women in that age range either are going to be feeling pressured into it anyway or will not be able to afford Plan B OTC without an adult.

Additionally, can’t pretty much the same thing be said about the pill or condoms or any other method of contraception? Or abortion? This type of reasoning tends to, at best, walk the line of the anti-abortion, anti-contraception view of punishment/leaving pregnancy there as a risk to deter sexual activity. Young women had unprotected sex before Plan B and making it harder for them to get it won’t stop that.

Finally, and this is part of what ggt was mainly highlighting, forcing Plan B to be behind the counter and require an ID makes it harder for women 17+ to get access to it, since they need an ID to avoid needing a prescription. It also means being forced to deal with a strange pharmacist or pharmacy tech at a critical time, which isn’t exactly the easier thing to do.

4 FemNaziBitch  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 11:43:16am

governments, parents and churches have been trying to control sexual behavior and it’s outcomes since the beginning of people. It doesn’t work.

We have to leave it to the individual a try to give them the information they need.

5 shutdown  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 11:53:56am

re: #3 Simply Sarah

My main thrust was to broaden the scope of the discussion and point out that pregnancy is not the sole issue. I certainly agree that there are many more variables than one, and probably more than the additional ones I listed.

A few responses:

There may be some small bit of truth to this, but I’d counter that many young women in that age range either are going to be feeling pressured into it anyway or will not be able to afford Plan B OTC without an adult.

The risk of pregnancy is a deterrent to unprotected sex. Condoms are cheaper than Plan B. I am not suggesting by the way that Plan B has only negative effects and I hope you don’t interpret my post in that way.

You seems to be implying that it would result in an increase in unsafe sex or young women being pressured into unsafe sexual conduct.

That is exactly what I am suggesting. I cannot predict the future, but it is certainly conceivable.

This type of reasoning tends to, at best, walk the line of the anti-abortion, anti-contraception view of punishment/leaving pregnancy there as a risk to deter sexual activity.

I actually resent this statement. My reasoning does nothing of the sort. My entire argument is framed in such a way as to add necessary depth to the examination of providing Plan B OTC to younger teens and to expand the discussion beyond the issue of unwanted pregnancy. Contraception should be freely available. So should proper education on human sexuality and reproductive health. Abortions should be legal and safe. However, I shouldn’t imagine that cervical cancer or HIV are any more desirable than a pregnancy.

forcing Plan B to be behind the counter and require an ID makes it harder for women 17+ to get access to it, since they need an ID to avoid needing a prescription. It also means being forced to deal with a strange pharmacist or pharmacy tech at a critical time, which isn’t exactly the easier thing to do

I understand that. Again, my point is not that I have a solution, but that the discussion is not quite as simple as reproductive choice and conservative v. progressive. There are no pat answers or perfect solutions. I do think that any addition to the armory of drugs needs to go hand-in-glove with improvements in education and the strengthening of girls’ ability to assert their right to protected sex.

Young women had unprotected sex before Plan B and making it harder for them to get it won’t stop that.

The rate of unprotected sex has been going up, as I quote in my post. This increase has gone apace with increases in HIV transmission and cervical cancer. I would like to see these issues addressed with as much vigour as pregnancy.

6 FemNaziBitch  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:01:02pm

Perhaps working to remove the taboos about sex in our society would be a good start?

There are too many barriers between parent and child about open communication that other developed countries don’t seem to have.

We have a lot of unhealthy hang-ups about it.

7 shutdown  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:09:25pm

re: #6 ggt

Perhaps working to remove the taboos about sex in our society would be a good start?

There are too many barriers between parent and child about open communication that other developed countries don’t seem to have.

We have a lot of unhealthy hang-ups about it.

Legacy of a witch-burning ruling class 350 years ago.

8 Simply Sarah  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:21:29pm

re: #5 imp_62

My main thrust was to broaden the scope of the discussion and point out that pregnancy is not the sole issue. I certainly agree that there are many more variables than one, and probably more than the additional ones I listed.

A few responses:

The risk of pregnancy is a deterrent to unprotected sex. Condoms are cheaper than Plan B. I am not suggesting by the way that Plan B has only negative effects and I hope you don’t interpret my post in that way.

Whatever deterrent effect it may have, Plan B can still be gotten by women under 17, it’s just harder.

That is exactly what I am suggesting. I cannot predict the future, but it is certainly conceivable.

I find an explosion of this unlikely. And, if there is, that seems to speak more to cultural and education issues, rather than anything Plan B may be causing.

I actually resent this statement. My reasoning does nothing of the sort. My entire argument is framed in such a way as to add necessary depth to the examination of providing Plan B OTC to younger teens and to expand the discussion beyond the issue of unwanted pregnancy. Contraception should be freely available. So should proper education on human sexuality and reproductive health. Abortions should be legal and safe. However, I shouldn’t imagine that cervical cancer or HIV are any more desirable than a pregnancy.

Of course they shouldn’t be, but making Plan B harder to get doesn’t somehow protect women against any of those things. All it does is increase the chances of getting them and getting pregnant. And my statement was because that’s the sort of reasoning I tend to see from those people trying to push stuff like abstinence-only policies and other such plans that seem to want to pretend we can get people to stop having sex.

I understand that. Again, my point is not that I have a solution, but that the discussion is not quite as simple as reproductive choice and conservative v. progressive. There are no pat answers or perfect solutions. I do think that any addition to the armory of drugs needs to go hand-in-glove with improvements in education and the strengthening of girls’ ability to assert their right to protected sex.

And even with protected sex, shit happens. Condoms tear and break. And rape happens. And sometimes people just make stupid choices.

The rate of unprotected sex has been going up, as I quote in my post. This increase has gone apace with increases in HIV transmission and cervical cancer. I would like to see these issues addressed with as much vigour as pregnancy.

Again, I see this as an educational and cultural problem, not something caused by Plan B. And anyone that decides on using expensive, somewhat less effective, and potentially sickness inducing Plan B as contraceptive of choice, rather than the pill or condoms, is already demonstrating a serious lack of critical thinking to start with.

9 FemNaziBitch  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:33:29pm

I think a lot of our “issues” in this country come directly from the Comstock Laws.

There are still people who would object if you put up a billboard about HIV or STD prevention. They would consider it “inappropriate”.

Talking about sex is not pornography, it’s normal, healthy behavior —or it could be if people weren’t so repressed.

10 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:39:49pm

Silly question, if I may…

I’m so not a fan of white-women-as-control-group, but in this context, it’s important to note that while 36 out of 1,000 white girls and women ages 15 to 44 have an unintended pregnancy, that rate is 86 for Latinas and freaking 91 for black girls and women. (I’ve searched for recent, reliable stats for Native American and API sisters to no avail.) If anybody needs better access to EC, it’s us.

How do they run statistics on “unintentional pregnancies”? Do they ask the question, “Is this a planned pregnancy?” or “Is this a baby you wanted to conceive?”

Not arguing pro/con… just want to know. Many people have unintended pregnancies and are thrilled by them.

11 FemNaziBitch  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:43:51pm

re: #10 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

Silly question, if I may…

How do they run statistics on “unintentional pregnancies”? Do they ask the question, “Is this a planned pregnancy?” or “Is this a baby you wanted to conceive?”

Not arguing pro/con… just want to know. Many people have unintended pregnancies and are thrilled by them.

I think they assume that if you aren’t married, the pregnancy was unintended.

Outdated thinking.

12 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:44:20pm

re: #2 ggt

imp_62

Without comprehensive factual education about reproduction and health in the public schools AND/or parents who are comfortable enough with their own sexuality to be able to educate their children, there are no good answers.

Kids in private and/or parochial school can have it even worse. Ask me how I know.

13 shutdown  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:45:04pm

re: #8 Simply Sarah

Plan B has not actually “caused” anything. But it is important to consider possible outcomes in a context that is greater than simply the immediate cause and effect of a taking a pill. STDs are real, HIV is real, cervical cancer is real. To avoid examining the Plan B issue in light of these events is not going to do girls and young women any favours.

Your argument that “shit happens” is not a constructive way of dealing with the fact that education has fallen behind the practices of our teens and the severity and variety of the outcomes.

I want more education, more prevention, and better access to contraception that is provided in the context of a more holistic approach to addressing unwanted pregnancy and sexual/reproductive health. Ignoring human nature when dealing with the human body is not the best approach.

14 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:45:37pm

re: #11 ggt

I think they assume that if you aren’t married, the pregnancy was unintended.

Outdated thinking.

Exactly what I was thinking.

15 FemNaziBitch  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:46:15pm

re: #12 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin

Kids in private and/or parochial school can have it even worse. Ask me how I know.

RC school until 8th grade. I went to the library and read the encyclopedia to learn.

I . AM . NOT . KIDDING

16 shutdown  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:46:38pm

re: #12 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin

Do tell, if you want to.

17 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:47:36pm

re: #11 ggt

I think they assume that if you aren’t married, the pregnancy was unintended.

Outdated thinking.

In high school (private, conservative Christian, all-white) I knew 4 girls who “got pregnant on purpose”/”had to get married”. They did this so they would not have to go to school anymore. It was an escape from authoritarian conservative parents and I did not blame them one bit.

18 FemNaziBitch  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:50:48pm

re: #17 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin

In high school (private, conservative Christian, all-white) I knew 4 girls who “got pregnant on purpose”/”had to get married”. They did this so they would not have to go to school anymore. It was an escape from authoritarian conservative parents and I did not blame them one bit.

And there are those who want to reverse the clock to give women 3 options: teaching, nursing or marriage/motherhood.

Oh, well yes, there is the nunnery.

19 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:52:59pm

re: #17 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin

I think it’s unfortunate that we count an out-of-wedlock pregnancy as an unintended pregnancy. I think it’s a combination of misogyny and puritanism.

20 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:53:27pm

re: #18 ggt

And there are those who want to reverse the clock to give women 3 options: teaching, nursing or marriage/motherhood.

Oh, well yes, there is the nunnery.

Heh, we prots don’t even get that option, unless you want to go Episcopalian. I did consider that, at one time.

21 shutdown  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:53:52pm

re: #17 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin

In high school (private, conservative Christian, all-white) I knew 4 girls who “got pregnant on purpose”/”had to get married”. They did this so they would not have to go to school anymore. It was an escape from authoritarian conservative parents and I did not blame them one bit.

The article posted by ggt is interesting, but the discussion is by no mean limited to specific racial or socio-economic groups. There are matters of prevalence in lower SES groups, but certainly these problems are not limited to those groups.

22 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:54:45pm

re: #19 Fat Bastard Vegetarian

I think it’s unfortunate that we count an out-of-wedlock pregnancy as an unintended pregnancy. I think it’s a combination of misogyny and puritanism.

I agree. Plus, “wedlock” just sounds like jail. To some people, anyway.

23 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:56:00pm

re: #22 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin

I agree. Plus, “wedlock” just sounds like jail. To some people, anyway.

heh… certainly an institution…

24 Simply Sarah  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 12:56:32pm

re: #13 imp_62

One of my issues with your line of argument is that you seem to be saying that the theoretical harm that could be caused by easier access to Plan B is less than the very clear harm caused by making it hard to get. You seem to be saying that since we do a crappy job educating people on good sexual practices, we need to punish those people that haven’t picked up the proper lessons. You seem to want to ignore the older women that this hurts, as well. You seem to want to pretend protection can’t fail.

As I said before, this is some of the same rational I’ve heard for rolling back access to contraceptives and abortion. You may find this statement insulting, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. The pill don’t protect against sexually transmitted infections. Neither do abortions. Yet those both make it “easier” for women to have unprotected sex. Is a proper “holistic” approach to restrict these further for young women, too? Maybe outright ban them?

I apologize that this is so angry and attacking, but I tend to find where you’re going with things extremely dangerous to the health of the very women you’re attempting to protect.

25 shutdown  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 1:08:50pm

re: #24 Simply Sarah

One of my issues with your line of argument is that you seem to be saying that the theoretical harm that could be caused by easier access to Plan B is less than the very clear harm caused by making it hard to get. You seem to be saying that since we do a crappy job educating people on good sexual practices, we need to punish those people that haven’t picked up the proper lessons. You seem to want to ignore the older women that this hurts, as well. You seem to want to pretend protection can’t fail.

As I said before, this is some of the same rational I’ve heard for rolling back access to contraceptives and abortion. You may find this statement insulting, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. The pill don’t protect against sexually transmitted infections. Neither do abortions. Yet those both make it “easier” for women to have unprotected sex. Is a proper “holistic” approach to restrict these further for young women, too? Maybe outright ban them?

I apologize that this is so angry and attacking, but I tend to find where you’re going with things extremely dangerous to the health of the very women you’re attempting to protect.

I am sorry you are taking my points in that way. I said earlier that there are no pat answers. My hope was to provide a broadening of the scope of the discussion, not to support any weakening of women’s reproductive choices. I tried to address the concerns you repeat above in my previous answers, so I won’t repeat myself here. You cannot avoid a necessary discussion merely because the line of reasoning may mirror one you disagree with; the methodology for examining cause, effect and potential outcomes has been abused by the anti-choice camp. That does not invalidate the methodology, however. Simply because “Mein Kampf” appeared in book form, does make printing and publishing inherently fascist.

It is not fair of you to expand my argument and take it to a conclusion that is neither logical, nor espoused by myself. Nothing I have said can be mistaken as support for rolling back access to contraception or abortion. Certainly my suggestion that we must consider health outcomes other than pregnancy cannot be interpreted as advocating any kind of ban on abortion or contraception. I understand the emotion bound up in these issues, but do try to be fair.

I have also not advocated accepting Sebelius’ decision as correct. It is important, however, to strip politics out of the debate and focus on health and welfare concerns. Those just happen to go beyond unwanted pregnancy and need to be considered, as well.

26 shutdown  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 1:16:20pm

re: #24 Simply Sarah

I should also note that I nowhere argue against Plan B, itself.

27 Simply Sarah  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 1:35:19pm

re: #25 imp_62

I understand what you’re saying. And I am not attempting to accuse you of being anti-abortion or anti-contraception. I am, however, saying that those stances really aren’t that far off logically from what you’re espousing, even if you don’t want to see it. You’re well intentioned and you don’t come off as seeing yourself as anti-choice, but I feel you’re off base here. I apologize for repeating myself so much. I also apologize for being so, well, rude. Clearly, I let my emotions take over on this issue.

In a nutshell, you basically seem to feel that Plan B should be harder to get because you want to limit it as an ‘out’ for women having unprotected sex, in order to help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections and diseases. The end goal is fine, but I cannot agree with the manner in which you propose to do it.

First, young women under 17 can still get Plan B now, under current rules. They just need a prescription or someone over 17 to purchase it. So right there, it doesn’t really prevent it from being used in the exact way you fear.

Second, the pill and similar methods have the same problems as Plan B does, except they’re generally going to be much less expensive and more widely used. Sure, you can’t just start on the pill right before having sex and expect it to work, so limiting Plan B might discourage totally unexpected and random sexual encounters. But again, Plan B isn’t 17+. it’s just harder for people under 17 to get.

Third, you seem to agree that education is the real solution here. If that’s the case, then I think trying to make it harder to get Plan B doesn’t help so much, because it’s a nice way to excuse discussing why using it as Plan A is a bad idea. And, once again, you can still get it if you’re under 17.

Finally, by making it harder to get, you increase the risk for all those women, younger and older, that need Plan B due to something out of their control (Or even just them being dumb). These are health risks, too. I understand you want to discourage unsafe sex, but just as you say we can’t ignore the non-pregnancy risks of it, we also can’t ignore the pregnancy ones, either.

We can largely solve the “Plan B allows young women to have unsafe sex freely” issue through education. We can’t solve the problem of condoms breaking through education. And, again, since Plan B can be gotten by women over 17 without a prescription, they too can use it to practice unsafe sex.

It seems your plan only works if we actually ban or highly restrict Plan B so that it’s nearly impossible to get, as that’s the only way the threat really comes into play. Otherwise, you’re just hurting those women without easy access to a doctor or an ID.

28 shutdown  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 1:57:36pm

re: #27 Simply Sarah

In a nutshell, you basically seem to feel that Plan B should be harder to get because you want to limit it as an ‘out’ for women having unprotected sex, in order to help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections and diseases. .

No, I feel that any discussion about Plan B should include all the facts. Not just one.

First, young women under 17 can still get Plan B now, under current rules. They just need a prescription or someone over 17 to purchase it. So right there, it doesn’t really prevent it from being used in the exact way you fear.

An accelerated prescription procedure (since Plan B’s effeciveness is reduced by delaying its administration) could be appropriate. The involvement of a parent/guardian with the healthcare of a minor child can be of benefit to the minor child. It is wrong to assume that every girl who might need Plan B does not have access to a parent/guardian with her best interests at heart.

Second, the pill and similar methods have the same problems as Plan B does, except they’re generally going to be much less expensive and more widely used. Sure, you can’t just start on the pill right before having sex and expect it to work, so limiting Plan B might discourage totally unexpected and random sexual encounters. But again, Plan B isn’t 17+. it’s just harder for people under 17 to get.

I agree to the extent that the pill presents similar issues. The pill is available by prescription, if I am not mistaken. It is also impossible to argue that unprotected sexual activity has not increased. So Plan B presents an opportunity to discuss these issues.

Third, you seem to agree that education is the real solution here. If that’s the case, then I think trying to make it harder to get Plan B doesn’t help so much, because it’s a nice way to excuse discussing why using it as Plan A is a bad idea. And, once again, you can still get it if you’re under 17.

I would rather educate parents and teens on the importance of condoms and safe sexual practices (and the real dangers of risky practices) than simply tell them that there is now a way to prevent unwanted pregnancy if they have unprotected sex. Because neither Plan B nor the pill will prevent the other possible outcomes I have discussed.

…you increase the risk for all those women, younger and older, that need Plan B due to something out of their control (Or even just them being dumb). These are health risks, too. I understand you want to discourage unsafe sex, but just as you say we can’t ignore the non-pregnancy risks of it, we also can’t ignore the pregnancy ones, either.

Your argument is slightly fallacious insofar as you keep focusing on pregnancy, and bever bother addressing any of the points I make about HIV, other STDs and cervical cancer. If you handed out the pill to all pubescent girls (or the male equivalent to boys), it would still not address the issue of unprotected sex or risky sexual practices. And these are real, documented problems, not arguments I am making up because I disapprove of pre-marital sex (I don’t) or contraception (ditto) or am anti-choice (I am not).

We can largely solve the “Plan B allows young women to have unsafe sex freely” issue through education. We can’t solve the problem of condoms breaking through education. since Plan B can be gotten by women over 17 without a prescription, they too can use it to practice unsafe sex.

Again, you address only pregnancy and are refusing to engage on the issues that are central to my original post.

your plan only works if we actually ban or highly restrict Plan B so that it’s nearly impossible to get, as that’s the only way the threat really comes into play.

I did not offer a plan. I suggested a rationale for a broader scope for the discussion. ID is a separate issue. There are many things for which ID is needed

29 Simply Sarah  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 2:25:25pm

re: #28 imp_62

Whoa, whoa. Hang on.

The involvement of a parent/guardian with the healthcare of a minor child can be of benefit to the minor child. It is wrong to assume that every girl who might need Plan B does not have access to a parent/guardian with her best interests at heart.

Seriously? And it’s wrong to assume all of them do. And all that aside, what does that have to do with anything? You want to force young women to go to their parents because they had sex? For what? “Well, you’re only 13, but we really think you should consider letting yourself get knocked up”? Should they be forced to go to their parents if they want Tylenol?

As for being a chance to “discuss these issues”, that would most likely occur after the sex has happened, at which point it isn’t helping much.

I keep focusing on pregnancy because even banning Plan B isn’t going to stop the spread of sexual transmitted diseases. You’re trying to treat a symptom, not the illness. I’m honestly getting really turned off by your concern, which seems to be around reducing women’s choices in order to protect them from themselves. I mean, trying to teach young women about the importance of safe sex and watching out for disease is clearly not the solution. You may say you agree, but then you keep going back to how we can’t trust them to be taught properly.

See, here’s the thing. If you distrust kids so much to take safe sex lessons to heart, then do you really really think they’re going to take worrying about getting pregnant seriously? Restricting Plan B isn’t the way to fight that battle.

And finally, what about guys? They don’t have to deal with this. They can just screw everything they find and there’s no forced discussion with their parents as a gateway to emergency contraceptive. Sure, you mentioned them in passing, but I’m finding your using this in that manner to be extremely disturbing. You seem to be mostly worried about women and their sexual activities.

I’ll admit it, despite all your protestations, you come off to me as, for lack of a better term off the top of my head, a concern troll. The fact that you brought in the need to get parents involved sort of tilted me to that away from taking you seriously, since that’s not the argument you’ve been going with.

That and the fact that you’re so worried about these 12 year old kids with HIV screwing each other and how easier access to Plan B will just make it epidemic, but you’re not really worried about the 20 year old without an ID or an easy to reach doctor who had a condom break on her.

30 shutdown  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 2:37:44pm

re: #29 Simply Sarah

Honestly, this whole conversation has gone off the rails. I knew it probably would eventually. Read my first post again, please. Then accuse me of being anti-choice and whatever. Seriously. If you don’t want to address any of the points I make, then don’t. But please stop attacking me. Plan B is not Tylenol. Pregnancy is not cancer. Abortion is not a cure for HIV. We are talking at cross-purposes. I am debating public health, and you are talking politics at every bend.

Do NOT put words in my mouth. That is the worst kind of base debate tactic, borrowed straight from extremists of all shadings. Concern troll? Distrust my kids? Seriously?

I’m out. Last time I try to have an educated debate here.

31 FemNaziBitch  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 5:36:03pm

re: #30 imp_62

Honestly, this whole conversation has gone off the rails. I knew it probably would eventually. Read my first post again, please. Then accuse me of being anti-choice and whatever. Seriously. If you don’t want to address any of the points I make, then don’t. But please stop attacking me. Plan B is not Tylenol. Pregnancy is not cancer. Abortion is not a cure for HIV. We are talking at cross-purposes. I am debating public health, and you are talking politics at every bend.

Do NOT put words in my mouth. That is the worst kind of base debate tactic, borrowed straight from extremists of all shadings. Concern troll? Distrust my kids? Seriously?

I’m out. Last time I try to have an educated debate here.

Please don’t, imp_62. The whole point, IMHO, is to get the emotions out so WE CAN have a debate.

I think what is so frustrating about the HIV/STD concern is that it is so often used as a distraction from Contraception and Abortion. Let me also point out that HIV/STD is affects both genders —where Contraception and Abortion primarily affect the health of the woman only.

This leads us back the patriarchal society side of the argument that if it doesn’t concern men, it won’t be addressed. THIS is an often a mis-overlooked part of the argument that emotional internalized, but not intellectually —thus the strong emotional outburst from women arguing for their health.

We tend to have lived with the subtle societal and sometimes personal repression for so long that we don’t recognize it for what it is.

Also note that STD treatment has been around a lot longer than legal contraception and abortion. NO Supreme court cases were argued in it’s favor and it is not constantly under attack.

32 shutdown  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 6:35:16pm

re: #31 ggt

Thank you for the words of encouragement. However, it is difficult to have a discussion when the counterpart will not engage on the issues as raised, but instead insists on refocusing the conversation on his or her own point. Allow me to reiterate:
a) I support, fully and without reservation, woman’s reproductive rights and access to legal, safe and insured contraception and abortion.
b) I believe that there are issues bound up in the discussion about Plan B that go beyond those stated in a).
c) I believe Plan B to be a good and safe method for “morning after” contraception.

There is no such thing as action without consequences (and I am not talking about sex) . Approval of Plan B as an OTC drug will by force of human nature have the potential to change sexual behaviour. The pill changed sexual behaviour. HIV changed sexual behaviour. Porn changes sexual behaviour. Teens between 13 and 15 are increasingly engaging in unprotected vaginal and anal intercourse and other risky sexual practices. Incidences of STDs and cervical cancer are on the rise. These are facts, not supposition. I provided documentation. The public health issues are real. I was desirous of a conversation on the facts, not of being attacked as wanting to roll back woman’s rights. From my perspective as a parent, my daughters have as much right to be free of STDs as they have to an abortion. As a parent of minor children, I have as much right to provide mature, educated advice as I do to make sure they are given the best medical care possible - including contraception and abortion.

I am raising independent, strong and sexually liberated daughters. I have endeavoured to provide them the best possible education on reproductive and sexual health. I want that same information to be available to children whether their parents are willing or able to provide it, or not. That way, maybe a 14 year old girl won’t take some 17 year old boy’s word for it that unprotected sex is fine, as long as you take the Plan B pill he took off his mother’s dresser. Because any 13 year old can go out and buy meth, pot and x. Do you really think that the mere requirement of a prescription will somehow make Plan B unavailable to minors? This is not about availability of contraception, or woman’s rights, or freedom of sexual choice. It is about having a public debate on the merits of our approach to sexual health and education. It is a shame that Secretary Sebelius did not take advantage of the opportunity.

33 Dancing along the light of day  Mon, Dec 12, 2011 8:20:23pm

Given the consequences of an unintended pregnancy, I personally support any & every effort to make the right choice for the people involved.

34 Simply Sarah  Tue, Dec 13, 2011 6:41:24am

re: #31 ggt

Thank you, ggt. You’ve done a much better job of describing my thoughts than I was able to. Too many different things swirling in my head, along with my normal difficulty in expressing myself. Although, and I may be misunderstanding you, I do feeling I largely get both the emotional and intellectual sides of it, I just often tend to let my emotions get in the way of calms discussing the intellectual parts of the issue.

re: #32 imp_62

First off, I apologize for calling you a concern troll. That was too much and I was out of line. However, you must understand that, despite still being relatively young and inexperienced with all this, I’ve still had plenty of time to see tons of “health of the woman” facades be placed over anti-contraception, anti-abortion, and anti-women arguments, so I’m extremely sensitive. On further thought, perhaps my age and relative inexperience contributes to my emotional reactions.

I’m not trying to ignore your arguments. I’ve stated that I also am concerned about sexual transmitted diseases and infections and that I think unsafe sex is, well, unsafe and unwise. We don’t seem to disagree on this.

We also both seem to agree that education is the key to addressing these issues, since without knowing the risks and options people cannot make proper and wise choices.

Where we disagree is on what a change to allow Plan B to be OTC for people under 17 will mean. I am simply not convinced that this change would lead to a significant increase in unsafe sex and I feel that the potential benefits would outweigh the risks.

I think my biggest disagreement with you is that, quite simply, I feel that many of the concerns you have about Plan B can happen now and won’t change should it be made entirely OTC.

For example:

That way, maybe a 14 year old girl won’t take some 17 year old boy’s word for it that unprotected sex is fine, as long as you take the Plan B pill he took off his mother’s dresser.

This can happen now. The education on risks needs to happen regardless of the OTC status of Plan B. People under 17 can still get it, it’s just more difficult currently. People 17 and older can still get it, it’s just more difficult currently.

Do you really think that the mere requirement of a prescription will somehow make Plan B unavailable to minors? This is not about availability of contraception, or woman’s rights, or freedom of sexual choice. It is about having a public debate on the merits of our approach to sexual health and education. It is a shame that Secretary Sebelius did not take advantage of the opportunity.

That has kind of been my point. If I seem to have been ignoring your points, it’s because you have seemed to be linking discussion about safe sexual practices with limiting availability of Plan B. While forcing Plan B to be prescription only for those under 17 might force a discussion of unsafe sex at the time Plan B is needed, if the discussion is waiting until that point then it is, in my mind, already too late.

I simply don’t see why Plan B cannot be made totally OTC and we can also have a discussion about safe sex. To do otherwise feels like punishing young women for the fact that adults are unable to start the conversation.


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