Republican strategist Brad Blakeman on Friday said that President Barack Obama was complicit in encouraging criminal activity because he supported contraception for young women.
Last month, a federal judge ordered the Obama administration to make emergency contraception available to girls as young as 15 without a prescription. The Justice Department vowed to appeal the ruling, but the president on Thursday told reporters in Mexico that he was "comfortable" with giving girls access to the morning-after pill.
"This makes no sense at all," Blakeman opined to Fox News host Martha MacCallum on Friday. "You have to be 18 years old to buy a pack of cigarettes. And the president is also encouraging criminal behavior because in most jurisdictions in America, engaging in sexual intercourse at 14, 15 years old is statutory rape. So the president is somehow saying, 'If you engage in that activity -- criminal behavior -- that's okay because the government is going to provide you the out for your bad decision making.'"
Left-leaning Fox News contributor Julie Rodinsky, however, was more realistic, pointing out that "15 year olds and people who are older do have sex, and if they do have sex, isn't the whole point here to prevent them from getting pregnant? And this is the best way to prevent conception. This is not an abortion pill."
MacCallum argued that "some people would quibble with that definition."
"This strips away the moral fabric of our country," Blakeman agreed. "It's the government basically being complicit in a criminal act, and also complicit in coming into the houses of America and telling the parents, 'We're going to bring up your children, we're going to be able to provide better for your children than the decisions you may make at home.'"
"What's the message, you know, when your 14, 15 years old, you say, 'Well, the president says I should be able to have this'?" MacCallum pressed Rodinsky.
"You're living in a world that just doesn't exist," Rodinsky shot back. "The bottom line is just because you don't want kids who are 15, 16 years old not to have sex, you're going to punish them by not proving them with the means to not get pregnant."
"So should we decriminalize statutory rape?" Blakeman interrupted. "And say that if you're 15, go out and have sex as a matter of law?"
"Statutory rape is if a 15 year old sleeps with a a 25 year old," Rodinsky replied. "I'm sorry to tell you, but it's going on out there. You can bury your head in the sand, but people are having sex at the age of 15. You might not like it... Government is not condoning it, but if you don't give them the tools to prevent abortion and pregnancy, they'll have abortion and pregnancy."
"It's a big issue, whether or not this condones it, whether it encourages it," MacCallum concluded. "And I think a lot of people feel that it does."
While no state has an age of consent younger than 16, minors in many states can legally engage in sexual activity with other minors, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. In New Jersey for example, a 13 year old may legally engage in sexual activity with a partner who is less than four years older.