Friday, April 24, 2009

"Does Anybody HAVE Teenagers?!"

"Either they're going to do it or they're NOT going to do it!", Nina Totenberg mockingly erupted tonight on Inside Washington in response to Gordon Peterson's question whether having Plan B available to 17 year olds would encourage them to have sex. Nina was shocked and awed at the suggestion that there are people who believe they or anyone or thing else is capable of influencing a teenager to do *anything* they don't want to do!

Plan B is the unfortunately descriptive name of a pharmaceutical drug. It's just about as annoyingly descriptively named as Flomax. (I wonder what the Plan B is if FloMax doesn't work?)

Plan B is a "morning after" pill which conveniently provides for the elimination of what could be a mighty big inconvenience: fertilized ova. Previously it was available to 18 year olds and by prescription only. Here's a not so big secret: taking certain birth control pills in a particular way brings about the same result. I'm sure some doctors in college town have been retiring for years on revenue generated from writing those prescriptions!

On at least a weekly basis, I witness some "parent" yelling at a toddler for some failing far beyond his or her cognitive, emotional or chronological development; or a child being left to fend for itself with no apparent "parent" in public places. (At Easter Egg hunt a few weeks ago, a boy who looked 5 or 6 was crawling out the door of the Community Center behind a stranger who cried out in vain for the boys parent(s). When the boy began lapping from a puddle outside like a puppy, I became the parent (in the "it takes a village" sense), and tugged him back inside. Of course, that's when a parent appeared, terrified to see me, a stranger--(a brown one, no less!) handling her child.

I say all this to say, I don't have a problem with Plan B. Given the recklessness and prevalence of increasingly casual sex, and negligent "parenting" it should be given out for free with condoms (or at least readily available at vending machines!)

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