“Mistakes happen; we’ll make them go away when they do.”
This is the message being sold to impressionable teens and desperate college students by Plan B oral contraceptives. In commercials, Plan B promises a one-step process that will “prevent pregnancy before it begins” for those who’ve made the mistake of having unprotected sex. The young, successful looking women pop into their their local pharmacy, purchace a pill and then confidently leave, carrying their get out of jail free cards.
But not all mistakes go away so quickly.
In a recent article, The Huffington Post UK laments the findings of a study which revealed that one in four students contracts an STD their first year at university. Fewer college students are using condoms to protect themselves against sexually transmitted illnesses and unplanned pregnancies, instead relying on treatments after such conditions have already manifested themselves. This “act now and deal with the consequences later” mentality is unfortunately further promoted by products like Plan B. For many, Plan B has become plan A.
For years contraceptive advocates have bemoaned the ineffectiveness of abstinence campaigns. Teens and college students are going to have sex, they say. What really matters is whether or not they protect themselves. It’s simply naive, they argue, to believe to tell young adults that God wants them to wait for their future spouse before having sex. “Just say no!” may have been an effective campaign against drugs, but it is seen as unrealistic for hormone-driven students. And in a very real sense they are right. Obedience to the Lord is impossible without the nature-altering transformation the gospel of Jesus Christ provides. A call to abstinence without the message of forgiveness is futile.