Plan B Pill: Papa Don’t Preach (Or Maybe You Should…)


Remember Madonna’s song back in the 80’s, “Papa Don’t Preach”? It was basically a song about a teenager who gets pregnant and tells her daddy she is keeping her baby. This song came to mind after hearing the recent news that the Plan B (or morning-after) pill would now be available to girls of all ages without a prescription.

My mind tends to view headline news in search of theme songs. I quite often sing Janet Jackson’s song, “Control”, after hearing Obama’s latest over reaching government policies. Last week, I started to sing Enrique Iglesias’ song, “Can You Hear Me”, after learning that the NSA has been collecting millions of phone records from Verizon customers. Perhaps it is my protective instinct to make something very wrong into humor to help myself deal with bad news. I digress though, so let me get back to the Madonna song…

“Papa Don’t Preach” might have been a bit controversial back in the 80’s. After all, a song about a girl who has sex outside marriage and becomes pregnant might not have been what parents of the 1980’s wanted their children to listen to. Her song nowadays is still controversial but in reverse: “But my friends keep telling me to give it up, Saying I’m too young, I ought to live it up… But I made up my mind, I’m keeping my baby”. Making the choice nowadays to keep a baby seems a bit outdated. After all, abortion is available and now the Plan B pill without prescription is the “live free of consequences” medication of choice.

The song has another aspect that shows a further change in our society: “You always taught me right from wrong, I need your help, Daddy please be strong… What I need right now is some good advice, Please.” A girl acknowledges her parental influence and a moral guidance. She turns to her dad in crisis but we live in a society today that does not value the parental influence on a child. The decision to let girls (17 and under) buy the Plan B pill without parental consent is a direct assault on parents. It is taking parents out of the equation and out of the decision making of a child’s life. It is basically saying that a parent has no right in the moral upbringing of a child. The song is changed from “Papa Don’t Preach” to “Papa It Is None of Your Business”.

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