Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
  3
Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend
  3
6 Shares     
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats
11 comments, In Series: Feminism
OpEdNews Op Eds

Old Enough to be Raped

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 3   Supported 3   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H2 12/13/11

Become a Fan
  (8 fans)

opednews.com

This past Sunday, I was watching one of my new favorite MSNBC shows, Up with Chris Hayes , when the subject turned to the unprecedented reversal of an FDA decision on Plan B - emergency contraception - by Obama's HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius. Rebecca Traister was particularly passionate in her condemnation of President Obama's statement of agreement with Sebelius, in which he invoked his role as the father of two daughters. Traister provided more background in her article on the subject.

Obama's statement, seen as paternalistic by Traister, was:

""As the father of two daughters," Obama told reporters, "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.'"

Traister's comeback was devastating:

" Recasting this debate as an episode of "Father Knows Best" reaffirms hoary attitudes about young women and sex that had their repressive heyday in the era whence that program sprang."

adding that:

"... drinking a whole jug of Pepto-Bismol or swallowing 50 Advil, [are] things that any 11-year-old who walks into a CVS with a wad of cash could theoretically do."

However, I found myself disappointed with the discussion on Chris Hayes' show, despite the fact that I regard Hayes as one of the smartest people on television. It focused on parents' reflexive discomfort with their daughters' sexuality, leaving out the most logical and urgent use for emergency contraception: the case of rape . Nancy L. Stanwood, MD, MPH, section chief of family planning at Yale School of Medicine pointed out that:

""Many women who have been raped do not come in for medical care, and many do not see a doctor in a timely manner, ". With over-the-counter sale of Plan B, at least they could do this. And young women are more likely to be raped. We want these women to get medical care, but most do not do it quickly.'"

Slate's Amanda Marcotte has described the Obama Administration position as accepting " impregnated rape victims as collateral damage."

According to the Guttmacher Institute, states differ widely on requiring hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape victims, which leaves many victims unprotected by those they ought to trust. Traister pointed to the additional complication for young women who might be undocumented, or who live in a small town - where privacy might be a challenge - having to provide an ID an a prescription to a pharmacist.

Traister emphasized the - literally - paternalistic tone of Obama's remarks, while several commentators focused on the nonsensical health concerns, or on whether girls the age of Obama's daughters could understand the Plan B label. I wonder why rape didn't figure more prominently in the discussion by either Sebelius, Obama, or Hayes' panel. Of course, if Obama insists on making these kinds of decisions on a gut level, it would be difficult for him to imagine - God forbid - that one of his daughters could be raped. But as a matter of public policy, can he afford to close his eyes to that possibility?

If a girl is old enough to get pregnant - and, perversely, acknowledging that this can happen as early as 11 was actually part of Sebelius' argument - she is old enough to be impregnated against her will. It should be "common sense" that we wouldn't want anyone's daughter - including the President's - to be traumatized twice.


14 year old rape victim
flickr photo credit to Michael Keller By The Advocacy Project
creative commons license

 

http://www.amazon.com/Amy-Fried-Ph.D./e/B004QOOD04/ref=ntt_d

Amy Fried is the author of "Escaping Dick Cheney's Stomach." She received her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior, and has been an advocate for church-state separation and other civil liberties issues. She writes on women's issues, media, veganism and (more...)
 
Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

What Erectile Dysfunction Ads Say About Our Culture and Our Health

What Makes a Good Leader?

Confessions of a Junk Food Vegan

Why Disability is a Feminist Issue

Old Enough to be Raped

What Part of "Emergency" Don't You Understand?

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
6 people are discussing this page, with 11 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

The discussion of Sebelius betrayal on women's rig... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011 at 4:51:21 PM
and figuratively.  This is why The 1% has fou... by Jill Herendeen on Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 at 9:37:48 AM
Hmmmmm.... interesting logic. I personally focus, ... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 at 9:46:34 AM
Wonder what Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton & ... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 at 9:37:58 AM
 President Obama disappoints on many issue... by Michael Katz on Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 at 9:51:56 AM
On a catttle drive, the main thing is to get the m... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 at 10:15:27 AM
Hmmmm..... Given your analogy, are you aware of Ca... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 at 10:23:31 AM
Realizing that his daughters are protected from su... by Ginger McClemons on Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 at 1:32:18 PM
Wow - while I agree that church-state separation i... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 at 2:43:58 PM
Oy!... by Michael Katz on Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 at 6:15:40 PM
Your argument, that the leadership of the USA is t... by Arend Rietkerk on Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 at 7:00:42 PM