Column: Take responsibility, not Plan B

By Angela Loiacono

The morning-after pill, Plan B, has sparked controversy in Washington recently. The emergency contraception option may soon be available without a prescription nationwide. I guess this means the government and your local Walgreens may soon be handing out little pills that will save you from last night’s bad decision.

An Associated Press article mentioned arguments inside and outside the Food and Drug Administration regarding the over-the-counter sales of Plan B. Great debate has generated on the topic, and I believe it is with good reason. With the possibility of women ages 16 and older picking up the pill when they go shopping for their toothpaste and a gallon of milk for their mom, I would hope the decision met some setbacks.

Support the Daily Illini in College Media Madness!

Help the Daily Illini take back the top spot in the College Media Madness fundraising competition! See the current ranking here.

learn more
donate now

Plan B supporters say, “the pill is a safe way to prevent thousands of unwanted pregnancies and the abortions that sometimes follow.” I think that statement can easily be translated into a scapegoat. Consequences are meant to be faced – not dodged. The easiest way to prevent unwanted pregnancies is to resist engaging in anything that will lead to one. This isn’t rocket science. If a woman is going to engage in sex, she must be willing to accept the most obvious outcome – pregnancy.

Just because some wholesale drug manufacturer has decided that they’ve hit a jackpot with the distribution of this pill does not mean it’s morally right. These people are honestly considering selling a drug that will prevent a baby. If that in itself isn’t horrible enough, they want to box it up and put it on a pharmacy shelf right next to the batteries. The last thing I want to see when I’m shopping for my floss is a pill that has the potential to end the possibility of life.

How is this any different than abortion? While abortion prevents a baby’s life, Plan B prevents conception. The idea of keeping a child from being born makes the two synonymous in my eyes. People may come forward with their scientific talk of fertilization and when a baby is actually considered a living human being. That’s not the discussion on the table. Despite the various opinions on the subject, I feel this little pill has now taken over and decided it can play God. If it is against the law for someone to walk into a home and decide that someone shouldn’t be living today, how is it different than taking a pill to prevent a life?

Honestly, what message does this send to young girls? By allowing this drug to be sold over the counter, girls who have just learned to drive can make the decision to have unprotected sex without a thought of the possible consequences. The government is considering placing a pill on the market that has the potential to increase pre-marital and adolescent sex.

Moreover, according to the article, “the FDA rejected nonprescription sales of emergency contraception, against the overwhelming recommendation of the agency’s own scientific advisors.” Now because the drug manufacturer has proposed that drug stores check the customer’s age before purchase, Plan B is back for approval. Critics accuse the FDA of leaning to conservative politics. But what’s wrong with that? Pending approval for Plan B, what’s going to be next?

While people argue women’s reproductive rights, I question women’s decision making. Women are given a choice to engage in sex. Just because technology now offers us the chance to escape responsibility for our actions does not mean that 16-year-old teenagers should be given the choice to prevent life.

I fully understand the differing viewpoints on this subject, but understanding and hearing out the opposition is respectful. I would hope no one has to face a decision about the life of another. What would you do if you knew someone once thought your life or the life of your best friend was a mistake from last night? They didn’t have a choice then, but pending approval, they will now.