Kathleen Parker’s Sunday column about allowing younger girls to buy the “morning after pill” without adult supervision did a good job of raising all of the salient issues of the controversy but resolved them rather poorly. I had to deal with some of these things as an AIDS prevention educator and here they are to haunt us again.
Someone decided early on that exposing teens or even younger kids to these things, beginning with sex education, would encourage promiscuity. I assume they came to this conclusion on the basis of what to them was a logical assumption, but first of all, logic is not the default function of the human decision making process, and secondly, none of the careful research supports the assertion. The same goes for the availability of condoms and now Plan B. For whatever complexity of reasons, these things simply do not materialize as causes of increased sexual activity.
We know that some kids as young as fifth grade are sexually active. Like it or not, that’s our reality. We know that if they can’t have this protection without parental consent, many kids will be afraid to face their parents.
Obviously, parent’s rights to control the lives of their children is not an issue that can be easily dismissed. But nor can we overlook the two realities that without this availability, many of these kids will become pregnant and many parents, if informed, will not handle these situations in the best interests of the child.
Harold R. Pettus