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5.12.2005    |    Plan B
No, not a nefarious scheme to defend a murderer on The Practice*. Rather, a (relatively) new contraceptive, one that works after unprotected intercourse. According the FDA,
Plan B works like other birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Plan B acts primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization). If fertilization does occur, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation). If a fertilized egg is implanted prior to taking Plan B, Plan B will not work.
Simple enough; it's a "morning after" pill, and does not terminate a pregnancy. It does prevent one. So far, so good...or bad, if one's faith does not allow for contraception of any sort.

Here's where we run into the by-now standard and expected excoriation of "evangelical Christians" when they voice expert opinions on anything. When said opinions seem to impinge on a "woman's right to choose", or the holy-of-holies, the "right to privacy" which now extends to 12-year-olds who get preggers, the (redundant) term, "evangelical Christian" is used as an epithet.

Case in point: a story in today's Washington Post, which highlights the recent decision by the FDA to not allow over-the-counter (OTC) sale of Plan B. From the story:
...an outspoken evangelical conservative doctor on the panel subsequently acknowledged in a previously unreported public sermon that he was asked to write a memo to the FDA commissioner soon after the panel voted 23 to 4 in favor of over-the-counter sales of the contraceptive, called Plan B. He said he believes his memo played a central role in the rejection of that recommendation.
The story goes on and on to relate terms such as "conservative doctor," "social conservatives," "evangelical Christian perspective," and, in case some secular liberals were not paying sufficient attention, this, claimed to be from Dr. Hager's sermon:
"I argued from a scientific perspective, and God took that information, and he used it through this minority report to influence the decision," Hager said. "Once again, what Satan meant for evil, God turned into good."
This is the money quote in the WaPo article. Clearly, it is implied, that someone who uses such medieval terms as "Satan," "good," "evil," and, perhaps the worst, "God," where God is portrayed as taking an active part in our lives. Oh, the humanity!

Aside from attempting to smear Dr. Hager as an evangelical, there is the presumption that since an FDA advisory panel voted overwhelmingly in favor of allowing teeny-boppers who bopped one too many times to buy a morning-after pill OTC, by what rights did the FDA go with the minority report?

The FDA does, patiently, explain that they are not bound by an advisory committee's recommendation. This instance of democracy denied really must annoy the lefties, especially since the FDA has (apparently) taken the minority advice from an evangelical who uses words like "Satan" and "God." Let's review the bidding, trying to be objective.

Plan B is a contraceptive, and, as such, prevents what would otherwise be a natural event: pregnancy. There are many better ways to prevent pregnancy. First among them should be abstinence. Next should be condom use, perhaps augmented by birth control devices of the pre-coital variety. Then, there's always the much-vilified and somewhat ineffective rhythm method. You needn't be a Christian to appreciate that your young, unmarried daughter, would be far better off not having sex -- unless, of course, you truly want grandchildren quickly. Which, mostly, I assume you do not.

The problem with OTC contraceptives for women is that they would seem to strongly encourage very young girls to have unprotected sex, with the knowledge that they could still be "safe." With Mom and Dad, those neanderthals, none the wiser. And, oh very yes, in today's society, one needen't encourage that sort of thing -- just the opposite is called for.

In short, OTC status for Plan B, or other morning-after pills, is further weakening of the most important social structure in our society: the family. If this opinion marks me as an evangelical Christian, thank you.

*For those who did not follow this show, "Plan B" was the fictional law firm's backup plan to create reasonable doubt for their obviously guilty clients. It usually involved some unethical, bordering on illegal, use of evidence, or making baseless accusations against people they knew to be innocent.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.