Better late than never: check out this article from the New York Times magazine last weekend, which featured a long, in-depth look at the growing anti-contraception movement in America. A few highlights includes a detailed description of the entire Plan B over-the-counter approval-process debacle which happened last year, culminating in the resignation of Susan Woods, then director of the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health…and we’re still waiting for a response from Lester Crawford, acting Commissioner of the FDA, aren’t we? We may be waiting for quite some time. At least “Senators Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray are holding up the nomination of Andrew von Eschenbach as F.D.A. commissioner until the F.D.A. issues a verdict on the drug.” Go go Senator Clinton!
Oh, and this is very interesting:
One thing that happened, which Dr. Wood and many others may have failed to notice, was the change in conservative circles on the subject of contraception. At a White House press briefing in May of last year, three months before the F.D.A.’s nonruling on Plan B, Press Secretary Scott McClellan was asked four times by a WorldNetDaily correspondent, Les Kinsolving, if the president supported contraception. “I think the president’s views are very clear when it comes to building a culture of life,” McClellan replied. Kinsolving said, “If they were clear, I wouldn’t have asked.” McClellan replied: “And if you want to ask those questions, that’s fine. I’m just not going to dignify them with a response.” This exchange caught the attention of bloggers and others. In July, a group of Democrats in Congress, led by Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York, sent the first of four letters to the president asking outright: “Mr. President, do you support the right to use contraception?” According to Representative Maloney’s office, the White House has still not responded.
Apparently the White House can’t give a straight answer to what should be a very straightforward question. Three cheers Congresswoman Maloney for asking the question repeatedly in the first place, though (in fact, Congresswoman Maloney a deserves an entire post of her own just to list all of the amazing work she’s done on behalf of women, children and women’s rights).
A few other chilling highlights:
In addition to providing an information center for the abstinence industry that has blossomed in recent years, [Leslee Unruh] takes her message directly to kids. Besides “Girls Gone Mild,” she sponsors “Purity Balls,” which fathers attend with their teenage daughters. “We think the relationship between fathers and their daughters is the key,” she told me. At the purity ball, a father gives a “purity ring” to his daughter — a symbol of the promise she makes to maintain her virginity for her future husband. Then, during her marriage ceremony, the daughter gives the ring to her new husband. Abstinence Clearinghouse’s Web site advertises the purity ball as an event “which celebrates your ‘little girl’ and her gift of sexual purity.
Better yet, check out Feministing’s take on the subject: Daddy’s little hymen.
Women’s Health News also had a very astute break down of the entire article, which is well worth reading.
As the 2007 federal guidelines for program financing state, “It is required that the abstinence education curriculum teaches that a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of human sexual activity.”
I can’t even touch that, it leaves me so angry.