After relentless and vociferous criticism from feminist organizations, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius has abandoned her opposition to the over-the-counter sale to minors of the so-called “Plan B” contraception pill which can also be used to cause the abortion of a fertilized egg. This cowardly retreat by Secretary Sibelius is hardly surprising, but it is nevertheless revealing of how far the disease of sex addiction has progressed in this country that even the innocence of youth is no longer immune to this infection.
Back in 2011, Kathleen Sibelius protested that her decision to block the over-the-counter sale of Plan B to girls 16 and younger, “[wasn't] about politics,” but that was before the election. Now that President Obama is safely re-elected, she has no reason to fight for something that she doesn’t really believe in. The Obama Administration’s priority has always been to promote expanded access to abortion almost from his first day in office, although the euphemism of choice these days is always about protecting “women’s health.” Who could oppose that?
In the first place, a 15 year-old girl is not a woman. Girls cannot drive a car without adult supervision, if at all. Girls cannot purchase liquor or tobacco. Girls cannot vote or serve in the military. In most states, girls cannot consent to marriage. Such restrictions are not like the misogynist Sharia laws in Iran and Saudi Arabia. In all of these things, we have rightly decided as a society that at 15 years of age, a girl is still not ready for these dangerous and
consequential activities—and neither is a boy of the same age. Nobody at the age of 15 is ready to make life-altering decisions.
Secondly, it is not healthy to teach young girls that they are mere objects for sexual gratification. It is not healthy to provide a young girl with poison and tell her that she has the right to choose whether another person within her lives or dies. It is not healthy to tell girls that there are no consequences for a life of licentiousness and debauchery, and that if they “accidentally” get pregnant (as if having sex is an accident!) they can “take care of it” after the fact, no questions asked, and that Plan B is no more harmful than a packet of breath mints or a roll of toilet paper. No, this is not about women’s health.
Feminists have been fighting this war for so long now that they have forgotten what they are even fighting for. In the early days of the feminist project, there was an attempt at serious reflection on our views concerning the proper role of women in society, but instead of finding some happy medium between the pit and the pedestal, we have cast women into the gutter and left them to fend for themselves. Women, and now even girls, are expected to fight on equal terms with men, and nowhere is this more true than in the bedroom. Young boys and girls are expected to have adventurous liasons with many partners from a young age while marriage is something to be postponed until later, if ever.
The normalization of adultery in our society has many consequences. Proponents of gay marriage argue of their sexual attraction, “It’s who I am.” In a bizarre sign of the times, girls in high school now aspire to star in pornographic films, justifying their decision by saying, “It’s my life.” In the four decades since Roe v. Wade was decided, more that 55 million babies have been killed by three little words, “It’s my body.” For all the self-regarding language though, when we define ourselves by our sexual predilections–by our attraction to the other, the external–we are in fact denying the self. The human body is not merely some biological receptacle, but each of us also has a unique soul that yearns to be reunited with our creator.
None of this is new though. In one of the most powerful passages in all of sacred scripture, Jesus tells the woman at the well, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst.” In this powerful story of salvation, Jesus describes our addiction to sin. In our sex-obsessed society which is really not so different from the decadent Romans in the time of Christ, we constantly thirst for more gratification of our carnal desires, be we can never be satisfied. It is only when we accept that procreation in the bonds of marriage is a sacred part of God’s divine plan that this thirst can finally be quenched.
The great miracle of the Samaritan woman is that she is so spectacularly unchaste and yet in her encounter with Christ, she is able to overcome these desires and finally obtain lasting peace. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus speaks often to women, offering them true health in both body and soul. Like the woman at the well, all of us are fallen creatures subject to many sinful desires, but the story of our salvation does not end there. Choosing to turn away from sin is only the beginning. Protecting the youngest and most innocent among us from the commoditization of human flesh that is promoted by the Obama Administration is as good a place as any to start.