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Buy a Decongestant, Show ID; Buy an Abortion Pill, No ID

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

The last time I bought some daytime cold medicine at the grocery store, I was flagged by the machine in the self-checkout aisle, requiring me to show my ID to the cashier. Since I’m 58 years-old with gray hair and a white mustache, the cashier quickly waved me on, but the lesson was clear: In order to buy something as harmless as Dayquil, I needed to be at least 18 years-old. Yet according to a recent court ruling, a minor can buy an over-the-counter abortion pill without showing any ID. What kind of madness is this?


It is the madness of a society spinning into moral chaos, a society in which:

· A school teacher cannot give a 17 year-old student aspirin without parental consent but can help a 13-year old get a secret abortion without parental knowledge.

· Schools remove prayer banners or pictures of Jesus Christ or the Ten Commandments from their hallways but allow tables in those same hallways offering free condoms and lubricants.

· A teenager who testifies on behalf of natural, organic marriage receives death threats while a teenager who testifies on behalf of his two mommies and two daddies becomes an internet sensation.

· A California doctor who refers a lesbian couple to a colleague for artificial insemination is found guilty by the courts of discriminatory conduct while that same state is “reportedly considering legislation that would force group insurance policies to provide infertility treatment for gay and lesbian couples.” This means that, “Two men who have sex with each other for a year and do not produce a baby would be considered ‘infertile’ under the proposed legislation.” (No, this is not a poor joke, sad to say.)

It is against this backdrop of moral madness that the latest abortion ruling has been made.

According to an April 5th New York Times report, the abortion-inducing drug, called Plan B, but commonly known as the morning-after pill, was approved in 1999 as a prescription-only product. Since then, many scientists, “including those at the Food and Drug Administration, have recommended unrestricted access . . . as have the American Medical Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.”


Really now, what rationally minded person could oppose the free access of a morning-after pill to a child of any age? Why shouldn’t 12 year-old Sally, already fertile and fresh off her first sexual encounter, be able to walk into a drugstore and purchase Plan B for herself? Why in the world should she need to be a certain age? Or why should she need parental approval or a doctor’s prescription? Hey, if she’s old enough to get pregnant, she’s old enough to buy a morning-after pill, right?

This line of reasoning was so extreme that it was opposed by none other than the Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, who “countermanded a move by the Food and Drug Administration in 2011 to make the pill . . . universally available.” Even President Obama, then running for reelection and possibly wanting to avoid highly divisive issues, also opposed the move, stating that, “I think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine.”

Now, when the most radically pro-abortion president in our nation’s history, together with his pro-abortion Health and Human Services secretary, opposes a pro-abortion initiative, you’ve got to know it was extreme, right? Well, not according to Judge Edward R. Korman.

Last Friday (April 5th), federal judge Korman “ordered that the most common morning-after pill be made available over the counter for all ages.” As the Times reported, “Korman of the Eastern District of New York accused the Obama administration of putting politics ahead of science [this is not a typo]. He concluded that the administration had not made its decisions based on scientific guidelines, and that its refusal to lift restrictions on access to the pill, Plan B One-Step, was ‘arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.’” What a remarkably wrong-headed ruling!


According to LifesiteNews.com, Anna Higgins, J.D., director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, argued that the decision “places the health of young girls at risk,” which would seem to be a no-brainer, if, in fact, anyone advocating for unrestricted access to this pill was actually thinking clearly.

Higgins “also raised concerns that making Plan B available over the counter will encourage reckless sexual behavior, and could expose young girls to sexual predators,” while Karen Brauer, president of Pharmacists for Life, noted that, “When these are right out there with the bubble gum, they're going to be part of the date rape cocktail.” But of course.

Yet this American social insanity must be placed in the larger context of the world’s moral madness, as a recent article “suggests that during the last forty years, just under 2 billion lives have been lost to abortion,” and Simon Rabinovitch reports that in China alone since 1971, “there have been 336 million abortions, 196 million sterilizations and 403 million intrauterine devices used.” And now there could be an over-the-counter, unrestricted, abortion pill here in the States.

When our children and grandchildren ask us how this happened on our watch, what will we say?

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