The Christian right is on a crusade to ban abortions and destroy Planned Parenthood. But because they haven't been successful in their endeavors, they're going after emergency contraception commonly known as the "morning after pill." During the Bush administration, they tried to keep it off the over the counter market but were ultimately unsuccessful. They have supported pharmacists who refuse to sell it and now are focusing their ire at Shippensberg University's new vending machine, in the student health center, which dispenses Plan B for a cost of 25$. Interestingly, Fox News is quite interested in this issue. This topic was a Fox News website secondary lede for a good part of the day. And alleged "straight news" anchor, Martha MacCallum, hosted a discussion about it. While the talk was "fair & balanced," it was apparent that Ms. MacCallum's views dovetail nicely with those in the anti-choice movement.
Today, on "America's Newsroom," MacCallum reported the backstory about the Plan B vending machine. Dr. Kathleen London spoke about how many pregnancies are unintended and Plan B is available, without a prescription, to women over 17. She noted the high incidence of on campus date rape that isn't reported. But when she started to say "this is a private way...," MacCallum interrupted her to ask why these women would hesitate to go to a medical person for the pill and that "many people would see this as very sort of, sort of too easy, too laizzez faire, you know that you should be able to just pop in and end a pregnancy with a pill you can buy in a vending machine." MacCallum's equating Plan B with abortion, an assertion not held outside Catholic and other pro-life communities, has been echoed by other Fox talkers who erroneously equate Plan B with abortion. Dr. London told MacCallum that her statement was false and non-scientific as Plan B prevents fertilization and does not cause an abortion if a woman is pregnant.
MacCallum tossed to the uber right wing moral scold, Concerned Woman of America Penny Nance who said it was "reckless" and a "direct result of the Obama administration's FDA." As she brayed about how doctors should be involved, MacCallum validated her with "understood." Nance claimed that the "girls" who use the drug are "lulled into a false sense security" because it's the least effective form of contraception.
MacCallum read a statement from the school which cited how the majority of students were in favor of making Plan B available in this manner. She launched into more anti-choice agitprop: "As a parent who is a couple of years away from paying for college tuition, Dr.London, this horrifies me. I mean why on earth would you let students make this decision when most of them are not even old enough to have a drink." Martha's was visibly appalled when Dr. London said that the students are old enough to go to a local CVS for the drug. MacCallum said "at least that takes an effort." WhenLondon said that they would be more likely to get it from their school to avoid a negative consequence, MacCallum said "the fear here is that they're going to use this as a form of birth control and as Penny points out, it's not a good one." Sweet lil Penny said that more and more women are making bad decisions and this was a bad decision by the Obama administration. (Uh, it's the school's decision). "Straight news" Martha summed it all up: "It's an interesting comment on society that we're at a point where we have Plan B pills in vending machines. You got to take a step back and wonder, you know, what happens before that even becomes necessary."
Here's the thing Martha - what happens is unprotected sex that could cause a pregnancy. Nice to know that you think we should make it harder for women to avoid that. And women who aren't old enough to buy a drink, still have sex. Nice to know that Fox News thinks that if they do, having Plan B "makes it too easy" for them to avoid a pregnancy. Oh, and Penny darlin, it was the Bush administration that allowed for Plan B to sold over the counter.
SU is known as a party school, i.e. lots of drinking and drugs, and, of course, sex. It was obviously a great idea to install this thing.
I’ve been very curious since this “news” broke about why, since this has existed for almost 3 years, it’s only making headlines now. I have a feeling some anti-abortion group was digging for something controversial, discovered this, and reported it to a news outlet. I know a local paper ran a story on it a couple of weeks ago…maybe it was picked up by a group trolling for contraception-related stories?