EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

April 14, 2013

Column: Judge's ruling promotes girls to women

When are females younger than 17 considered girls? When they want an aspirin from the school nurse. In that case, the nurse needs permission from their parents. After all, legally they are juveniles – still children.

But when those same females want to buy a “morning-after” birth-control pill, they are considered “women” – adults who should have the right to make their own decisions about their bodies, free of any parental interference.

That is the Through-the-Looking-Glass world we now officially inhabit. Yes, the definition of young teen (and even pre-teen) females has been bouncing between child and adult for some time, depending on the political issue, but now it has been given an extra sheen of legitimacy from a court.

Federal District Judge Edward R. Korman, of New York’s Eastern District, recently overturned the 2011 decision by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to restrict access for girls younger than 17 to Plan B and other “morning-after” contraceptive pills by requiring that they have a prescription.

Korman declared Sebelius’ decision to be, “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.”

This was, of course, “a big victory for women,” in the words of Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. But she wasn’t the only one shaping the terms to fit the agenda. National Public Radio reported that the judge had ordered that morning-after birth control be sold without a prescription to “women of all ages.”

Gee, based on that, why not just retire the term “girl”?

And they call it a victory for “science.” The monstrous absurdity of it would be funny, were it not so tragic for young girls, their families and society in general. Apparently, Judge Korman and those who applaud his decision believe that as soon as a female’s body is able to conceive, science says she is a woman, with all the accompanying mental and emotional maturity of adulthood.

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