Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 2 Share on Twitter 2 Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

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

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Amy Fried, Ph.D.       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments, In Series: Feminism

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Interesting 1  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 5/6/13

Author 3066
Become a Fan
  (8 fans)
- Advertisement -

Marchers with Slutwalk Knoxville: Wiki Commons
(Image by By Brian Stansberry (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

We have an epidemic of rape and other violence against women in this country, and around the world. We also have a national and international stranglehold on the privacy and sovereignty of women's bodies. As the Rape, Assault & Abuse Nation Network reports , every two minutes, someone in the U.S. in sexually assaulted, and 54% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police. In the meantime, the Tea-Party led "war on women" is going after, not just abortion rights, but the right to use birth control, as well.

Enter the Emergency Contraception debate . When the Obama Administration first overruled the FDA's decision to make Plan B - a medication that prevents pregnancy for a certain period of time after sexual intercourse - available over the counter to women and girls of all ages, I wrote about Chris Hayes' coverage of the issue on his show Up with Chris Hayes. At the time, I was disappointed with the show's failure to mention rape as the obvious example of an "emergency" for which Plan B would be needed.

- Advertisement -

As the Obama Administration continues to push back against any effort to make this time sensitive remedy available to all who may need it, when they need it, I'm astonished to see most of the discussion - even on liberal MSNBC, and again on Hayes' new show - center around our squeamishness about teens having sex, as if consensual sex was somehow all we need to worry about. In case there's any confusion on this issue: rape is not "having sex." Rape is assault, it is violence, and it can happen at literally any age. In fact, Obama's reasoning: that girls are maturing at a younger age, so that we need to counteract that by raising the age at which they can obtain Plan B, makes absolutely no sense. If a girl can be impregnated against her will at age 9, 10, or 11, why shouldn't she be able to access emergency contraception at that age?

When Chris Hayes again addressed Emergency Contraception on his new show, All in with Chris Hayes, I was impressed that he had an all-female panel. However, once again, the focus was on teen sexuality rather than teen victimization. One panelist in particular, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Karen Hunter, took a particularly virulent opposition to wider availability of Plan B. At one point in the discussion, she referred to it as "an abortion pill," which drew strong opposition from other panelists. (Panelists who nonetheless, ignored the case of rape.) While she later apologized, some of her tweets after the show - addressed to me and others - made me wo nder if she still thought of Plan B as an abortion pill. For instance, in one tweet she said that providing Plan B over-the-counter is " ... just giving kids a free pass to not even think about their bad choices." In another, in response to my analogy with the free availability of condoms, she said, "Come on, put Plan B on the same level as condoms?"

Even the MSNBC blog post linked above, by Feministing editor Chloe Angyal, focuses on teen sexuality.

- Advertisement -

If we can't rely even on staunch feminists to correctly frame the issue of emergency contraception, then perhaps it's no wonder that we appear to be losing that battle.


- Advertisement -

Interesting 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Amy Fried applies her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior to writing and activism on church-state separation, feminism, reproductive rights, corruption, media and veganism.

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 Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

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

Follow Me on Twitter

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView 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

Why Disability is a Feminist Issue

What Makes a Good Leader?

Confessions of a Junk Food Vegan

Old Enough to be Raped

FILM REVIEW: Half the Sky: A Must-See Problem, A Flawed Solution