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Monday, February 6, 2012

I'm in trouble

I know it already. Any time a man decides to comment on women's issues, he's in trouble. I could've just not written this blog. It was almost like I was compelled to write it. So here goes...
                         I wonder how long I'll be in here...

NPR's Morning Edition was doing its usual great job of informing me on the way to work this morning. As I pulled into the parking lot at work, I heard this quote:

"We kind of got caught up in the moment," she says. "[We] woke up in the morning and decided that we needed to go get Plan B, because neither of us were ready for any sort of pregnancy."

Why couldn't I have gotten to work a few minutes earlier? I would've been blissfully unaware of this segment on Morning Edition and my burgeoning readership would have my vanilla commentary on last night's Super Bowl and commercials as their impression-of-X-du-jour.

But no; I had to catch this little hand-grenade of a quote before turning off my engine.

Let me fire the first salvo in my totally emotion-based response; then we'll see where this goes.

                   I'm sure I'll get it from all sides for this one...

I have to hand it to the unnamed college boyfriend. There is an awful lot of we in that quote up there which, I suspect, had a lot to do with an emotion named relief. I remember my younger days and the thought of being a father back then terrified me. Life was too much fun; who wanted to end all that and settle down?

But the real meat and potatoes of what got to me - deep down inside - was when she said, "...because neither of us were ready for any sort of pregnancy."

Say what?

Any sort of pregnancy? For a college-educated woman, I have to believe that was a total non sequitur.

Of course, the real gist of why this is roiling around in my gut since this morning is that old moral compass pointing its accusing little finger at our society's acceptance of, for lack of a better phrase, the let's not have a baby now philosophy.

Technically speaking, the Plan B pill isn't abortion as, if the rest of the article is to be believed, it prevents fertilization of the egg which prevents conception.

What it is, is a Get Out of Jail Free card.

Knowing the human proclivity toward ready, fire, aim! I'm sure the pharmaceutical manufacturers had no doubt that they could sell a passel of these Plan B pills. Ahem, in the name of preventing all types of unwanted pregnancies of course, and contributing to a better society through emergency family planning.

Now I'm not saying people shouldn't be allowed a do-over once and while; in this case as long as they have the $50 - $90 it costs for the plan B pill. I guess another thing is that otherwise educated folk, like the young lady interviewed by NPR, allow themselves the freedom to goof without having to suffer the consequences. As she said in the interview, "We kind of got caught up in the moment."

Hey. It happens, right? In fact, with the young lady in question it apparently happened twice. But perhaps more concerning is how she lifts up Plan B as some sort of, dare I say it, right, in the quote, "I can't even describe how important it was," she says. "It's an important option for girls at that age to have because ... things happen."

So there we have it. Technically, Plan B is not abortion because the effect happens prior to fertilization. But it's disturbing that we want to engineer willpower, self-control and, yes, morality out of the equation of life.

As a man, I believe men should be responsible enough to step back when, in the young lady's words, people are getting caught up in the moment. It takes two, of course. But I'm not laying this one off on women. Young men have a need to be every bit as responsible as young women.

Should Plan B be available over the counter to men and women over 18? As much as I think it sets a dangerous precedent, in America the answer should be yes.

Should Plan B be available over the counter to young men and women under 18? Not without a parent or legal guardian's consent.

That's what I think - how about you?


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