Abortifacients: Like Picking Up Aspirin

Because the Food and Drug Administration isn’t approving over-the-counter abortifacients with sufficient alacrity, Hillary Clinton and company are renewing their whine this week about the Bush administration’s promotion of “ideology over science.” This is a rich charge coming from Democrats who won’t even admit that “Plan B,” the mulishly direct name for an “emergency contraceptive” from Barr Pharmaceuticals, acts as an abortifacient. The oh-so-scientific Dems manage to deny this basic scientific fact.

“Ideology over science” defines the Democrats; they are always ready to ignore any evidence that threatens to interfere with the advancement of their ideology. They will hold hearings at the drop of a hat on childhood obesity and the dangers of second-hand smoke. But abortifacients aimed at teens? No need for hearings on that matter, they say. They are “safe and effective.” Case closed. Sure, teens like Holly Patterson have died from them. But let’s not talk about that. Kids might get the wrong idea and not use them.

In order to fortify their ideology, the Democrats must constantly politicize science and shortcircuit inconvenient scientific questioning. No scientific questioning of “global warming,” for example, is permitted at all. It is a “fact,” the Democrats say, and that’s that. Nor will they permit any probing of the theory of macroevolution. That would be too counterproductive; it could hurt “the cause” and give the appearance of a lack of “consensus.”

Similarly, the Democrats think it hurts the liberal cause to permit any open discussion of the medical risks and moral hazards of condoms, contraceptives and abotfiacients. Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray are careful not to nanny teens on this front, lest too much talk of the risks of contraceptives and abortifacients dilute enthusiasm and retard the formation of desirable teen sexual attitudes. Normally hyperactive and skittish on teen safety issues, the Democrats are game for permitting all sorts of risks in the area of teen sex. They have taken cigarettes out of teens’ hands and filled them with condoms and abortifiacients.

Earlier this year I read a story in the California press about a campaign among liberal parents to eliminate soda machines and “junk food” from Bay Area schools. Teens were eating too many “cupcakes” and Berkeley parents wanted schools to cool it on cake-oriented “birthday parties.” The story was an apt illustration of the soullessness of American education: the only standards that ever rise in public schools under liberalism are nutritional. Out go the soda machines; in come the condom dispensers.

The power of ideology over reality is so strong among liberals they worry more about teenagers consuming cupcakes than contraceptives, talk loudly about the dangers of alcohol while remaining mute on the risks of RU-486, and would find the thought of their teen smoking on a Friday night more mortifying than their teen picking up an abortifacient at CVS.

A few weeks ago Hillary Clinton blasted tobacco companies for producing citrus, berry, and toffee-flavored cigarettes. “It is just unacceptable for any company to push candy-flavored cigarettes and cigarette ad campaigns targeted at teens,” she said, according to Newsday. But notice that last week she lectured the FDA on its need to loosen up and drop the expectation that pharmaceutical companies protect teens from their products.

According to a boastful account on her Senate website, Hillary pressed acting FDA commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eshenbach on a letter released by the FDA that “suggested, if the FDA approves Plan B for over the counter sale to those 18 and over, the FDA would hold the maker of Plan B to an unusual standard, requiring the producer – not retailers selling Plan B – to police and enforce age restrictions on the sale of Plan B. Senator Clinton secured a commitment from Dr.von Eschenbach that the FDA would not hold the producer of Plan B to unprecedented standards to enforce limitations on its sale beyond what has been expected of any other company.”

Like, say, tobacco companies? No, Barr Pharmaceuticals is peddling a “responsible” poison – and if it poses risks to teens, so what? You can always count on the health and moral welfare of children to come last in the priorities of children’s activists; “pregnancy prevention,” “reproductive freedom,” – these are the really important things. Hillary doesn’t mind if 16-year-olds pick up Plan B from their 18-year-old friends, provided those friends don’t simultaneously purchase for them at the convenience store something as frightening and destructive as beer or cigarettes.

While Hillary fulminates against the Bush administration’s championing of “ideology over science,” her friends at Planned Parenthood actually practice it, telling teens that abortifacients like RU-486 are as safe “as aspirin” while downplaying the risks of the drug – that it often doesn’t result in a complete abortion and that it exposes women to hemorrhaging and infections. The Democrats aren’t stopping politics over science but spreading it, hoping one day that a propagandized people won’t blink at the sight of abortifacients next to aspirin at their local convenience store.