Let Girls Be Girls

28 06 2013

13565084-girl-playing-hopscotch

The following excerpt from an article entitled “Emergency Contraception” by Eleanor j. Bade comes from an online journal called Z Magazine: The Spirit of Resistance Lives:

When Annie Tummino went on vacation two years ago, she forgot to take her birth control pills for several days. Despite three summers interning at the National Organization for Women (NOW) in New York and a post-college year as a counselor at Planned Parenthood of Western Massachusetts, she was terrified, desperate to get hold of the Morning After Pill (MAP).

“I was really freaking out,” Tummino recalls. “Luckily, when I looked online I found http://www.______.com, a hotline run by doctors. I contacted them and after a five- minute conversation with a counselor, they called in a prescription for Plan B Emergency Contraception [EC]. A few hours after contacting them, I went to the drug store, picked up two pills, and took them. I know I was lucky to get the pills, but it showed me how much crap and panic and how much rearranging of life goes on when the Morning After Pill is not available over the counter [OTC].”

At the time of her pregnancy scare, Tummino was already a seasoned activist. She had been involved in New York state NOW’s Reproductive Rights Task Force since 2003 and had participated in civil disobedience in support of OTC MAP access. Later, following leadership changes in NOW, she joined the Women’s Liberation Birth Control Project (WLBCP), part of the Morning After Pill Conspiracy.

Okay, so I have an almost 8-year old daughter. In just a few years, she will be at the age when puberty and adolescence begins, which is the point in everyone’s life when one’s body begins to outpace one’s judgment. Her body will be able to get pregnant long before her mind can even begin to appreciate the significance of sexual relationships. I’ll save you the suspense: I don’t think early teens should be having sex. Should this even be a debate?

So back to Ms. Tummino and her lack of birth control (or maybe just self-control). She obviously has zero qualms about having sex when and wherever she wants. But hey, it’s a free country, right? People can do whatever they want with their own bodies.  Adults are free to do what they want to do within certain legal limits, virtues and consequences be damned. BUT — and this is a big BUT — as a parent I sure as hell have a say over what my child is doing with her body. It’s called parenting. I try to be good about what my daughter eats by offering her healthy snacks and good meals, especially because, left to her own devices, she’d eat donuts and m&m’s all day. I also have a say over whether or not she spends hours watching TV or gets her homework done, or gets some exercise in the great outdoors, or practices her Tae Kwon Do or does her horseback riding lessons. But if Ms. Tummino and her colleagues at the Women’s Liberation Birth Control Project (sounds like they should be on some sort of watch list with a name like that) get their way, I’ll have a say over whether or not my daughter eats Nutter Butters before breakfast but will be legally barred from knowing whom she’s had sex with, consensual or not, or whether she may possibly be pregnant.

Okay, so what conceivable planet does that sound normal on? Since when is it okay to tell girls (note: not women, but girls) that they needn’t be under the authority of their parents, and that their bodies are their own to do with what they will? Since when is it NOT okay for parents to tell their tweens that they shouldn’t take drugs, or abuse alcohol, or pierce their tongues, or sleep around? Is the National Women’s Liberation (the organization behind legislation that would make it legal for any girl of any age to take the morning-after pill whenever they want to without knowledge of their parents) seriously advocating for girls’ “reproductive rights”?? Well, actually, yes:

Advocates for girls’ and women’s rights said Monday the federal government’s decision to comply with the judge’s ruling could be a move forward for “reproductive justice” if the FDA acts quickly and puts emergency contraception over the counter without restriction.

Annie Tummino, lead plaintiff in a lawsuit over unrestricted access to the morning-after pill and coordinator of the National Women’s Liberation, said women and girls should have “the absolute right to control our bodies without having to ask a doctor or a pharmacist for permission.

In early 2005 the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and nine individuals from the Morning After Pill Conspiracy. The lawsuit seeks to make Plan B available over the counter for women of all ages…

This is true, Tummino states, regardless of whether the woman is a teenager, young adult, or middle-aged.

Note to Tummino: teenage girls ≠ adult women. And “women of all ages” means women, not girls, over the age of 18. And how about this euphemism: “reproductive justice.” Orwell couldn’t have come up with a creepier term. So now we have sexually liberated women with a completely jaundiced view of freedom fighting “on behalf” of little girls’ sexuality. Talk about the fox guarding the chicken coop.

Honestly, this world is getting crazier by the minute.

We have seen the enemy, and enemy is us. Do me a favor: let my daughter be a girl.

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