Must be __ years or older to purchase alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets or the Plan B pill. Which of these items is not like the other?
Three of these items are considered addictive and, when used in excess, can lead to negative life consequences. The other item can help a woman prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
While the age limit to purchase the Plan B pill was lowered by the FDA to 15 years old, there shouldn’t even be an age limit because contraception isn’t something the government should be regulating. And to be clear, the Plan B pill is a form of (emergency) contraception. It’s not an abortion pill, and if a woman is already pregnant, it won’t harm the fetus.
If a woman is responsible enough to seek the Plan B pill, she shouldn’t be expected to prove her age, and if she’s younger than 15, she shouldn’t be turned away.
Sex happens. And accidents happen too. Sometimes a condom breaks, a woman may be on prescriptions that cancels out her birth control (such as medication for strep throat) or maybe in the heat of the moment, no protection was used.
No matter the circumstance, no woman should be turned away or asked to prove she’s old enough to be sexually responsible, which is apparently the age of 15, in order to receive emergency contraception.
A baby is a huge responsibility, and if a woman isn’t ready for one, or even the possibility of having one, no one should have the right to stand in her way.
Why is it that the Plan B pill is the only non-prescription contraceptive that is regulated by law? A 14 year old can purchase condoms from the grocery store without an ID or proof of age, yet if that same 14 year old didn’t use the condom properly and needed emergency contraception, they wouldn’t be able to purchase it.
The point isn’t that we should start regulating condom sales. That just sounds ridiculous anyway. But what kind of message is our culture sending when we say anyone of any age can purchase a condom, but you have to be a certain age to purchase emergency contraception.?
It creates stigmas those who seek the Plan B pill. As a society, we’re saying it’s okay to have sex, but if you make a mistake, you have to prove that you’re of a responsible enough age to purchase emergency contraception—just like you need to be 21 before you’re considered old enough to drink. And if you’re not old enough? Too bad, so sad, looks like you’ll just have to hope you’re not pregnant.
Just the fact that you have to show ID in order to purchase the pill makes it seem like you’re doing a bad thing, like potentially aiding your alcoholism, increasing your chances of lung cancer or gambling your life savings away.
Pharmacists might as well be stamping “whore” on the package, since that seems to be the stigma around a responsible and probably worried woman purchasing Plan B.
While I applaud the FDA lowering the minimum age requirement to purchase Plan B, I still disagree that the government should be regulating it at all. People’s sex lives are none of the government’s business.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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