Laura Ingraham is at it again.
On "Fox & Friends" Tuesday, the conservative pundit -- who has made no secret of her anti-birth control positions in the past -- argued that the Obama administration's decision to drop age restrictions on the sale of morning-after contraceptive Plan B One Step was "a good deal" for pedophiles and statutory rapists.
It’s a good deal for pedophiles, a good deal for people who commit statutory rape against young girls. If mothers and fathers across this country hear this, and they think, ‘Well, I guess my daughter or her boyfriend or her rapist can go out to a pharmacy and get a bunch of, you know, hormone pills to give a little girl’... We don’t really know the effect of a spiking or dropping a little girl’s... in many cases a young woman’s or a little girl’s hormonal levels. It’s outrageous!
The diatribe was provoked by a question from "Fox & Friends" host Steve Doocy, who said the Obama administration had "extraordinarily" decided to allow underage girls to buy the morning-after pill. In fact, the administration had previously come out in favor of age restrictions on the contraception several times, much to the distress of reproductive rights groups.
In 2011, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius ordered the FDA to limit the sale of the Plan-B One Step morning-after pill to women over 17. (Obama endorsed that move.) When a U.S. district court judge ruled in April that the policy was "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable," the Justice Department challenged the decision. Last week, an appeals court ruled that a different, two-pill morning-after drug should come without age restrictions, finally prompting the administration to drop its challenges.
The morning-after pill has long been a flashpoint for controversy, particularly on Fox News. However, Ingraham's suggestion that expanded access to the drug would aid in sexual abuse does not pass muster. As Katie McDonough pointed out over at Salon in May:
This line of argument is not based in reality: forensic investigations do not require a pregnancy to confirm an assault and women’s bodies are not incubators for evidence in rape cases.
Women's health experts have long supported universal access to the morning-after pill. Nancy Northrup, CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said of the administration's reversal that she was "pleased that women should soon be able to buy Plan B One-Step without the arbitrary restrictions that kept it locked behind the pharmacy counter when they needed it most urgently."