I just saw a very annoying thing on Chris Hayes’ new Show All In. There was a panel discussion of Judge Edward Korman’s smack down of the Obama administration over their repellent handling of the youth exclusion to allowing Plan B to be sold over the counter. The problem was Karen Hunter on the panel. She was arguing that it was wrong to allow 11-year-old women to buy a birth control drug from a pharmacy without their parents’ approval.
The panel did not address the hateful nature of Hunter’s argument. They claimed that the issue was that requiring the drug to be behind the counter meant that women over 17 had a harder time accessing it. And others noted that they had no problem with 11-year-old women being able to buy birth control medication. I am completely in agreement with these arguments. But they don’t really counter what Hunter was saying.
Karen Hunter misses the entire issue. She even mentioned that we should be concerned about these young women getting STDs. Indeed we should! But stopping them from getting birth control medications will not stop them from having sex. Clearly, these young women have already had sex. So Hunter’s argument is the same as the anti-abortion arguments that I discussed in On Hating Women. She wants to punish women for the sin of having sex. If we care about 11-year-olds having sex (and I think we ought to), then we should care about 11-year-olds having sex. Stopping them from mitigating the harms associating with having sex will not do anything to stop them from having sex.
I agree with the other three members of the panel. But I really wish they had called out Karen Hunter on her hateful attitude (which is the same as President Obama’s, by the way) toward these young women.
Note also what a mature act it would be if an 11-year-old took it upon herself to purchase and use Plan B after having unprotected sex. That’s the kind of behavior we should applaud, not punish with an abortion or poorly timed motherhood.