Wednesday, May 8, 2013

If Only We Could Outlaw Penises

If only we could outlaw possession and purchase of the penis then we could compare the laws governing smoking to the laws governing contraception.

Heather Mac Donald wrote a column for the New York Post comparing smoking to birth control -- specifically the recent ruling on the age requirements for obtaining the Plan B contraception. She tries to hit one out of the ballpark, but ended up with a swing and a miss. Her failure is trying to compare apples to oranges, or more specifically, comparing penises to cigarettes.

Heather Mac Donald writes:

The Times editorialists fall back on the usual “they’ll have sex anyway” rationale for demanding Plan B for 11- and 12-year-olds: “Lack of access to safe contraception will not stop adolescents from having sex,” they write. The same can be said for smoking, of course.

And right there, if you think about it for more than a second, her argument goes off the rails. We are trying to prevent children from having sex until they are mature enough and properly prepared, just as we are trying to prevent children from taking up the habit of smoking. But you can't compare what happens after having unprotected sex (or a condom fail) with efforts to prevent smoking. Her argument falls closer to saying that smoking causes medical problems so we are going to outlaw medical care for children. But even that isn't all that good of a comparison.

Sex is a normal and natural part of virtually every humans life at some point. Smoking is not. Trying to compare sex with smoking can't ever be anything but a fail. Heather Mac Donald doesn't do any favors to herself or the conservative movement by putting forward such ridiculous comparisons.

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