President Obama wasn't making any friends at the Daily Kos when he defended the Team Obama decision to refrain from offering "morning after" birth control pills over the counter to children without a prescription. Obama cited his own daughters, which only infuriated leftists like Kaili Joy Gray, the resident scourge of those "terrorist, murderous scumbags" we call the pro-life movement, sounded off against paternalistic Obama in the latest "war on women" update.
"Americans don't need a daddy-in-chief who turns squeamish at the thought of their sexuality. While squeamishness may be an understandable emotional reaction, it doesn't prevent pregnancy or disease. Instead, it does enforce the kind of ignorance that leads to a greater risk of pregnancy and disease," Gray lectured. "Americans of all ages need to understand sexuality—the science, not the moralistic shaming in the name of God or decorum. The information and protection they need should be as accessible to them as possible because that's how you prevent pregnancy, disease and poor decisions."
Liberals love to ascribe to themselves the quality of open-mindedness, of being willing to embrace a diversity of opinions and a broadness of discussion. Not so Kaili Joy Gray, who wants the "national discussion" on sex to only allow her point of view, and exclude anyone who might object to copulating eleven-year-old children. There is no stopping them. There is only helping them along:
And President Obama's squeamishness certainly has no place in a national discussion about health and human services. As [Salon's Rebecca] Traister explains:
This discomfort might be comprehensible from an emotional, parental point of view. But these are not familial discussions; this is a public-health policy debate, and at a time when “16 and Pregnant” airs on MTV, the fact that a daddy feels funny about his little girls becoming grown-ups has no place in a discussion of healthcare options for America’s young women.
Barack Obama may cringe at the idea of his daughters sneaking off to the store to buy emergency contraception and a pack of bubble gum. But preventing his daughters from being able to purchase emergency contraception won't protect them. And it won't protect any of the other young women in America who may find themselves in the position of needing access to emergency contraception in order to prevent an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.
This may be unimaginable to Barack Obama, as the father of two daughters, but as the president of the country, he should understand that not every American girl has a father or other adult in her life she can trust to help her when it comes to her sexual health, and that if a teenager has had unprotected sex and wants to prevent an unplanned pregnancy, blocking her access to emergency contraception won't prevent her from having sex. Instead, it will only increase the risk that she will become pregnant.
The only way to promote safe and healthy sexual practices and to reduce disease and unplanned pregnancy is to put squeamishness aside and ensure that every sexually active American has access to the education and contraception they need to protect themselves.
As Mencken famously asserted puritanism was defined by the "haunting fear that someone, somewhere might be happy," feminists like Gray are reverse puritans. They have the haunting fear that someone, somewhere under 18 might listen to a conservative or a religious person and abstain from sex. That would be a triumph of ignorance, blind religion, and paternalism.