Not exactly on point, but I got what my teenager was asking. Even she gets the double-standard of the Obama administration’s position on emergency contraception. She asked, “If they think that making it easy for girls to get emergency contraception means that they are going to have more sex, then why do boys get to buy condoms without any problems?” This is mind-boggling coming after President Obama’s speech at the Planned Parenthood Conference: “When it comes to a woman’s health, no politician should get to decide what’s best for you.”
Why do I have a problem with the government policy? Because of all the barriers: you must be 15, you must have a government-issued or photo id (not something all schools provide), you must purchase it in a store that has a stand-alone pharmacy (rare in rural and remote communities), and it is expensive—even though Medicaid covers other over-the-counter medicines like condoms.
We have plenty of evidence-based scientific studies proving that emergency contraception is safe, prevents ovulation, and cannot terminate an existing pregnancy. We have research that shows the dramatic decline in unintended teen pregnancy and abortion rates when teens learn how to use contraception more effectively.
We also know that teens who are abused experience birth control sabotage, pressure to get pregnant, and significantly higher rates of unintended pregnancy. Emergency contraception is important because negotiating birth control methods is awkward in any relationship, but it’s nearly impossible if you’ve got an abusive partner who wants control.
3 thoughts on “Why aren’t they restricting condoms?”
Kudos to your daughter for recognizing the double standard while I do not wish to make condoms inaccessible, I agree with her logic. In only allowing men/boys to have easy access to birth control methods we are sending a dangerous message to our youth and general public, basically solidifying that women are not capable of controlling their own bodies and reproduction—this message has consequences ranging from unplanned/pressured pregnancies to feeding violence against women. We have to start providing access to resources and educational materials which will empower young adults to make healthy choices and feel in control of said choices.
Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for your comments. I agree that access to medically accurate information and birth control resources is critical in building a foundation of knowledge that supports the autonomy and decision-making of young people.
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