Pregnancy used to be an event of universal joy and approval: the excitement and promise of new life, the beauty of a woman in her finest moment, the sweetness and beauty of the anticipated child. The Bible affirms this view in John 16:21, “…as soon as she has given birth, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a child has been born into the world.”
The Food and Drug Administration has ruled that emergency contraception – the Plan B One-Step morning after pill– should be available to 15-year-olds without a prescription, lowering the age from 17. The decision also allows the pill to be displayed on pharmacy shelves, rather than held behind the counter.
Now that self-centeredness has been elevated and legitimized, society is falling all over itself with “help” for women to be rid of this burdensome event of life. There are contraceptives available for use before conception, during the act of procreation, and now: Plan B – a pill to use after coupling – just in case. With politically correct glibness, it is being called “emergency contraception.”
As with any new thing that one can put into one’s body, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has spent some time fretting over safety, possible side effects, and ease of obtainability. At the same time, various politicians have bickered over how, when, and to whom it may be made available. Here’s a brief summary of the timeline for this drug:
- 1999: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd receives FDA approval to market Plan B, the first emergency contraceptive drug for prescription-only use in the United States.
- 2001: The Center for Reproductive Rights and more than 70 medical and public-health groups file a citizen petition seeking to strike restrictions on Plan B.
- 2006: The FDA denies the groups’ petition. However, several months later, the FDA said Plan B could be sold without a prescription to women 18 years and older who present government-issued identification at pharmacy counters.
- February 2011: Teva files a petition to make Plan B One-Step, a one-pill version of Plan B, available over-the-counter without age or access restrictions.
- April 5, 2013: U.S. District Judge Edward Korman directs the FDA to grant the petition and make emergency contraception available over-the-counter to women of all ages.
In response to this development, President Obama stated at a press conference, “I’m very comfortable with the decision they’ve made right now based on solid scientific evidence for girls 15 and older.” He went on to say, “I’m very supportive of contraception because I think it’s very important that women have control over their health care choices and when they are starting a family. That’s their decision to make and so we want to make sure they have access to contraception.”
For those of you who are required to show a prescription to refill the bottle of blood pressure pills you’ve been taking for twenty years, or schedule a pricey veterinarian visit to renew the insulin prescription for a cat that has been diabetic for five years, this may be a bit difficult to comprehend, so follow this carefully: A fifteen-year-old girl, who cannot legally watch an R-rated movie, buy cigarettes, or receive an aspirin at school without parental permission, can now walk into the drug store, pick up some of her favorite bubble gum, and without parental permission or a prescription, buy a drug that kills the life of a child inside her.
So what are the values America’s judges and elected officials are rewarding here?
- Early sexual activity ought to be permitted and made as risk-free as possible
- The rights of minors trump the rights of parents
- “Emergency contraceptives” (abortifacients) are safe and ought be easy to obtain at will
- Unborn children deserve no safety and protection, and have no rights
- There is no negative consequence or stigma for killing a child until the second it is out of the womb (and sometime not even then)
As with many of the issues of Christian significance, the possible response of Bible-believing Christians to this analysis could be despair, political activism, or prayer. But, prayer is the first and only choice which comes with guarantees:
“But my eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless! Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me and from the snares of evildoers! Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by safely.” Psalms 141:8-10 (ESV).
Today, pray that:
- The courts and/or the FDA will restrict the Plan B drug to those 18 or older or repeal it altogether
- That Biblical values will impact public policy decisions in America
- America will become a nation that values the lives of the pre-born
Dr. Tom Askew has been an educator in both public and private schools for 40 years, in Hong Kong, Germany, Georgia, and Arizona. He is currently doing educational consulting and instruction for Christian schools in Arizona.