MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

August 17, 2013

Legislation hateful to women


— Using newly minted law to control access to the morning-after pill creates social penalties for women seeking contraception.

Legislation, signed into law May 29, requires females 17 and over to show identification to a pharmacist to obtain the Plan B One-Step pill and generic contraceptives. It also requires females under 17 to have a prescription to obtain the pill.

A lawsuit filed recently states the law is unconstitutional because it imposes restrictions on a form of contraceptive used only by women.

The law won bipartisan support in the House and Senate.

It appears to be another in a long line of attempted end-runs around the constitutional protections for women to have abortions.

Requiring a woman to show her identification before purchasing the pill seems designed to intimidate or humiliate consumers.

State legislation requires everyone to show identification to purchase over-the-counter medications that include pseudoephedrine. That’s because it is a key component in making methamphetamine. Requiring consumers to show ID for pseudoephedrine is designed to curtail criminal activity.

State legislation seems to equate the two — contraception and manufacturing drugs.

The morning-after pill has received federal government approval as an over-the-counter drug.

Requiring females younger than 17 to have a prescription seems to be aimed at curtailing sex among teens.

If the state thinks making contraception more difficult to obtain will stop teenage sex, they do not watch enough TV.

Teenage sex is a reality that won’t be stopped by legislation.

That’s not to say we are encouraging underage sex, either.

But, it’s the job of parents, guardians and religious leaders to encourage moral living.

The law also will make it more difficult to avoid the potential consequences of risky behavior. The law has the potential to increase teenage pregnancies.

Creating social penalties to stop behavior state legislators feel is inappropriate is a hateful way of conducting state business.