Pregnancy

Obama Employs ‘Daddy Knows Best’ Reason When Defending Plan B Ruling

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president obama and daughtersSo not only was Plan B overruled at the last minute despite the FDA’s consensus that the pill was safe for girls of childbearing age, now President Obama has come out in support of the decision — and on a very specific platform. The President used his status as a father to justify the decision being overturned.

Yesterday, the father of two had exactly this to say on why, even though science has sanctioned this pill safe for girls as young as 11, he is uncomfortable with it being available to his little girls:

“As the father of two daughters, I think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine…I think most parents would probably feel the same way.”

He lamented the idea of Plan B being available in drugstores right along side “bubblegum or batteries,” a reasoning that doesn’t make sense given that any 11-year-old can also pick up diet pills, stimulants, Aspirin, even Pepto Bismol — all which can abused. Yet what irks me most about Obama’s comments is that he suggests that, as a father, he has more authority over the sexuality of girls than even the FDA. That even though researchers and doctors have committed countless hours of their careers ensuring that this pill is safe for girls, he somehow knows better — just because he’s a father. And how is that for a hark back to policing girls’ sexuality and chasteness? By a father asserting that he is the guardian of his daughters’ sexuality — no purity ball required here. [tagbox tag=”plan b”]

Rebecca Traister, one of my favorite writers, penned this acute observation of Obama’s “paternalistic” reasoning and word choices:

Why should we be asked to believe that Obama’s paternity imbues him with more moral authority on the subject of women’s health and reproductive lives than the investments of doctors, researchers and advocates who – regardless of their parental status – have dedicated their lives to working on behalf of increased reproductive health options.

This statement by Obama not only reeks of daddy anxiety about his own girls having sex one day, but it’s also very demeaning — to all girls and women. Our daughters need more education, more options, and more of an understanding of their own bodies so that they can make healthy and safe decisions. Not more “paternalistic” men looking down their noses at them, forever to be “daddy’s little girl.”

(photo: WENN)