That’s the question that comes to mind as I ponder the current debate on making the “Plan B” morning-after contraceptive available to girls of any age. As Sandy Banks points out in her opinion piece, the “women” in question are 12, 13 and 14 years old. And even younger in some cases!

The key issue at stake in the discussion appears to be the hard won right of women to choose what to do with our reproductive capacities. But does the biological capacity to bear a child make a girl psychologically capable of making “woman” decisions without adult support? I think not.

I went through precocious puberty. I began menstruating  in fourth grade at ten years old–long before other girls even began to think about such matters.  While my body was ready to bear children and make adult decisions, “I” certainly was not!

I understand the potential complications in family where girls so young are having intercourse and in need of a some kind of  “Plan B.”  A girl who doesn’t feel safe asking her parents for support in such matters needs help with far more than her contraceptive options. But this is not the “Plan B” that will provide the real help she needs.

As Sandy, the single mother of two now adult women, points out so clearly: “If parents took more responsibility and paid more attention to their kids, perhaps the debate about the contraceptive Plan B would become unnecessary.”

Amen Sandy.

I’m all for women’s reproductive rights, but girls aren’t women, even if their bodies say otherwise.