Conventional Thinking: Three strikes against FDA policy
From groceries to prescription drugs, a carton of eggs to Christmas gifts, you can get almost anything at a local pharmacy these days. Sadly, we can add one item to that list: an abortion.
This is the result of a Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) policy that allows over-the-counter access to the so-called morning-after pill, Plan B®. The policy, backed by President Obama, now makes the potent drug available without a prescription to girls as young as 15.
In a May 6 post on the Baptist Messenger’s “Word Slingers” blog (www.WordSlingersOK.com), pharmacist Derek McCarver of El Reno talks about the science behind Plan B® and how it actually can lead to an abortion.
What’s more, he discusses the serious side effects for the women and girls using these pills, as well as some of the spiritual side effects. Here I wish to present three fatally flawed problems of the FDA policy, which is:
The FDA, with former President George W. Bush’s approval, first made it over-the-counter (though not for minors) in 2006. At the time, courageous leaders like U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma medical doctor, warned that this was a tragic move.
Why, Coburn wondered, would the FDA make the super-dose of birth control, which can likely terminate a pregnancy, available over-the-counter, when the ordinary birth control pill requires a prescription? It does not make sense.
We have done a great disservice to pharmacists like McCarver, who have now been degraded to mere vending machines for abortifacient pills through this policy. Previously, women would be required to seek medical advice before taking such a pill.
With the FDA ruling, doctors are taken out of the equation for women, who are hurriedly using this drug after sexual contact. Whereas a doctor could have tested the patient for sexually-transmitted diseases and advised her in other ways, she is now on her own.
In the 1970s, a fear of “back-alley abortions” was a big argument used to bring abortion to America. Abortion rights proponents argued, “we needed to get abortion off the streets and on the record.”
Today, this FDA policy has the potential to move abortion back off the record. Whereas clients previously had to visit a doctor or clinic to receive an abortion, the future may mean nothing more than a trip to the local pharmacy. Is not the potential ending of a human life worth more deliberation that what it is given here?
Women’s issues activists, too, have raised a question as to whether sex traffickers will be more easily able to cover up their tracks with the easy access to this pill for their sex slaves. The human trafficking problem, as the Baptist Messenger has documented, is not just some problem on another continent. It is happening right here in Oklahoma. The last thing we need to make is an easier way for these monstrous traffickers to hide their evil deeds.
While some women have decried the trend, others are saying the FDA policy does not go far enough. According to The New York Times, “Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the lawsuit that Judge Korman ruled on, said the decision on Tuesday was unsatisfactory. ‘We will continue our battle in court to remove these arbitrary restrictions on emergency contraception for all women,’ she said.”
In her mind, limiting so-called emergency contraceptives at all is too restrictive. Again, it is a sad day in America when a trip to the local pharmacy could mean the end of a human life.
With Jesus Christ, however, there is always hope. Let us pray for those in leadership (1 Tim. 2:1-4) and that Christ, Himself, Who came to give us “life and life abundantly” (John 10:10) would save us from our own devices.