Posts Tagged Emergency Contraception
With kudos to Jodi Jacobsen, I’ve grabbed the last line of her piece Wednesday as inspiration for my title. “As the saying goes, with friends like these, who needs the far right?”
Wednesday, in direct contradiction to the recommendations of the FDA, Kathleen Seblius announced that the administration will not allow women under 17 to get Emergency Contraception (EC, Plan B) without a prescription. This makes Barack Obama the first president to counter the FDA by executive order.
His action goes against the science. There is no medical or ethical reason to impede a woman of any age, who, for whatever reason, wants to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. How does it help the future of that young woman to put her through more hoops, including a doctors’ visit, potentially leaving her vulnerable to all the complications of a pregnancy for a young person?
The New York Times quoted Dr. Susan Wood, a former F.D.A. assistant commissioner who resigned in 2005 to protest the Bush administration’s handling of Plan B, saying “there were many drugs available over the counter that had not been studied in pre-adolescents and that were far more dangerous to them.”
“Acetaminophen can be fatal, but it’s available to everyone,” Dr. Wood noted. “So why are contraceptives singled out every single time when they’re actually far safer than what’s already out there?”
Experts, noted the statement, “including obstetrician/gynecologists and pediatricians, reviewed the totality of the data and agreed that it met the regulatory standard for a nonprescription drug and that Plan B One-Step should be approved for all females of child-bearing potential.”
This is the president who said while campaigning that his administration wouldn’t listen to the climate crisis-deniers and the gay marriage haters. Many people thought that Obama meant he wouldn’t cave into the right, but how else do you explain this move?
His action goes against the wishes of a majority of people who think that peoples’ access and use of birth control — and abortion — is their own business. Period. It’s not the business of the Pope, the Council of Bishops (who directly intervened with Obama on this one), some right-wing fanatics in Congress, or their own partners of parents, and not the president business either.
Jodi Jacobsen yesterday,
Apparently the health and rights of women do not matter, but placating the far right does. Because apparently helping teens actually prevent unintended pregnancies isn’t an authentic a goal of this administration. Perhaps it was among the topics on which President Obama came to “understand the concerns of Catholics [read the 281 bishops],” as Archbishop Timothy Dolan assured the New York Times after his private meeting with the president.
This president, this government, just acted against the interests of all of us who are women, or who care about women’s’ lives, in a craven way which will only give encouragement to those on the right who want to enact even worse measures, including bans on abortion and all birth control.