Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania is now providing Plan B, an emergency contraceptive that sometimes acts as an abortifacient, to its students through a vending machine. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves of this practice. When the news broke tweets and re-tweets relating the story ran though my Twitter feed along with commentary of disapproval from social conservatives.
My question: Why is any part of this story surprising news?
Abortion advocates have done their best to spin abortion positively by using words such as “choice” and “healthcare” in conversations about abortion. Additionally, abortion advocates use dehumanizing terms such as “uterine material” to diminish unborn babies’ personhood, or simply neglect to mention the child at all and instead state that an abortion simply “empties your uterus.”
Abortion-via-vending-machines is a logical progression of a society that not only permits but also subsidizes abortion. Did my entire generation miss out on reading Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) in which the government promotes sex as simply a social activity? While this book was perhaps ahead of its time, fiction can mirror reality and social trends.
Social conservatives who think the FDA should stop such “obvious neglect of prudent medicinal practice and drug distribution” are either idealistic or ill informed. The FDA approved Plan B and promotes it as safe enough to be an over-the-counter medication. When we live in a society where President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and others go so far as to argue for overturning the ban on partial birth abortion, why would the FDA limit access of an over-the-counter item simply because it makes abortion more accessible?
If abortion is indeed a “healthcare” concern as abortion advocates endlessly tell us, it makes sense for people to find morning-after pills such as Plan B side-by-side with decongestants in universities’ vending machines. From that standpoint: what’s the difference between people flushing some allergens out of their systems with a decongestant and women flushing potential embryos out of their bodies with Plan B? Abortions are legal and both drugs are FDA-approved medications available without prescription at the local pharmacy.
Social conservative should stop being shocked. We live in a FDA-approved America that we helped build through willful participation, complacency, and denial of reality. Abortion-via-vending machines? That’s not news but another tragic occurrence in modern America.
Reacting to current events in naïve shock is simply not enough: We need to do more. We must live well, participate in civic life, and be an integrated part of our communities as morally-cohesive people. We must not expect government agencies such as the FDA to make decisions best left to individuals who are genuinely concerned for their welfare and their neighbors’ welfare.
Personal responsibility would be far more exciting news than another trite story about abortions being made easily available to students with the government’s garish stamp of approval.