The Plan B Pill: If It Were MY Daughter…

Plan B pill

…I’d want Plan B to be available over the counter.

I say this realizing there are great moral complexities involved here.  I’ve thought about it a lot regarding under-age girls seeking abortion.  When it comes to abortion, I ask myself, “Would I want to be notified if it were my daughter?  Would I want the doctor to insist on my consent if it were my daughter?  My husband’s consent?  If my daughter was 15?  What about if my daughter was 13? 12?”  Of course the answer to all of these questions is “Yes.”  While most parents I know would also answer “yes” to these questions, I realize there are girls who aren’t living in healthy families.

I also, however, have done everything I know how – used everything in my parental arsenal – to make it clear to my daughter (and sons) that when they are in trouble of ANY nature, we are their allies.  Not their crutches.  Not their protectors.  Not their enablers.  Not their shields from consequences.  Their allies.  We know more, we’ve lived longer, we have better access to resources, etc., etc., etc.  “We will ALWAYS be prouder of you for calling/telling us you’re (insert a stupid/dangerous/against-the-rules situation here) and you need help than we will be mad at you for having found/gotten yourself into (insert stupid/dangerous/against-the-rules situation here) to begin with.”

So far, this has served us fairly well.  We’re not delusional – we assume there are still plenty of stupid/dangerous/against-the-rules situations they have not told us about, and will be in the future.  There have been times, however, when we’ve gotten calls from them.  And as strange as it sounds to say, I hope we continue to get those calls.  I’d rather get calls from them than from the police or the hospital.  This is what we have hammered home, and hopefully has set the tone for the basis of trust and confidence they have in us.

I hope this would extend, for my kids, to sex and unwanted pregnancies.  In an ideal world, they’d come to us first.  In a slightly less ideal world, they’d go to a doctor first.  In an even less ideal world, they’d have their friend drive them to a drugstore to buy Plan B, also known as the “morning after” pill.  But in a world I’d consider unacceptable, they would have no access to Plan B.  And then, once a pregnancy results, they’d have no access to Planned Parenthood.   Safe abortion would be hard to come by, and god forbid, they’d seek a back alley.

Just because I think I’ve done a good enough job making my own kids comfortable coming to us with their problems and mistakes, doesn’t mean they would.  Just because I wish all kids felt comfortable going to their parents doesn’t mean they do.

What of the kids whose parents aren’t there for them?  What of the girls who’ve been raped and whose parents would throw them out of the house for being a slut in their eyes?  What of the girls whose fathers are womanizers themselves, but would beat their daughters if they got pregnant?  What of the daughter of a prominent family that cares more about outward appearances than helping their kid?  Just because my daughter is not in one of those families doesn’t negate the fact that other daughters are.

Plan B (and even more medically significant, abortion) is something of which I hope my daughter wouldn’t avail herself without my knowledge. If, however, my daughter is in a situation where she is too afraid/embarrassed/shocked/traumatized to come to us first, all the MORE reason I would want safe emergency contraceptive (and safe prenatal care or abortion) available to her.  And if I want it for her, how can I not want it for those daughters who are less fortunate than she?

 

This post originally published at The Broad Side.

Image via The Moderate Voice

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  • mannahattamamma

    Amen sister. And I say this amen as the mother of boys; I see raising them as respectful and responsible men as my greatest feminist act. Should either of them find themselves on–er–the other end of this situation, so to speak, I hope that they, too, will have recourse to Plan B–or rather, will help the girl in question through her decision. When I was in college–decades ago–it never occurred to me that I might be *worse* off in the future…that my reproductive rights might be *more* in jeopardy. It’s depressing.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Thank you, Mannahattamamma! I know, I can’t believe we are still fighting this fight. It just comes back in different clothing.

  • http://donofalltrades.com donofalltrades

    Well said. I had friends who had abortions when we were young (not my babies) and I remember one girl asking me my thoughts since my friend was his boyfriend. I was 19 and didn’t have the kind of knowledge and experience to give her any educated advice. I talked her into talking to one of my college professors about it and it gave her peace of mind when she did ultimately decide to have an abortion. That wouldn’t have been my choice after sitting in the same conversation as her, but it was her body and her responsibility had she had a baby, so I completely understaood. I hope my kids come to me as well. Kids talking to each other about such important decisions is scary! We tell our kids that we’re their parents, not their friends, but we’ll always be there to help them beyond what anyone else will ever do for them. Hopefully, they listen and come to us when they’re older and making stupid mistakes.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Well said, yourself, Donofalltrades. Thank you.


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