Last month a US district judge ordered the FDA to make the morning-after pill available to females of any age without a prescription. This week the Justice Department announced that it would appeal the ruling.
The group was seeking to expand access to all brands of the morning-after pill over the counter, such as Plan B One-Step and Next Choice, so that females of all ages would be able to purchase them without a prescription.
Supporters of the ruling called it a landmark decision, while opponents raised concerns about safeguards being eliminated.
“Safeguards” against teenage girls being able to say no to being pregnant.
Appearing before Planned Parenthood’s annual convention last Friday, President Obama pledged his continuing support for women’s reproductive rights. In a speech before the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, Mr. Obama promised to keep science a sphere “not subject to politics” or “skewed by an agenda.”
On Wednesday, his administration betrayed both reproductive rights and science. The Justice Department announced that it would appeal a federal court ruling that would make morning-after pills available without a prescription for girls and women of all ages.
In short he said one thing and did another.
In 2011, the secretary of health and human services, Kathleen Sebelius, overruled the Food and Drug Administration, which had decided, based on scientific evidence, that the pills would be safe and appropriate “for all females of child-bearing potential.” Ms. Sebelius arbitrarily determined that only women 17 and older should have access to the drug.
Then, last month, citing the political nature of Ms. Sebelius’s intervention and finding no “coherent justification” for it, Judge Edward Korman of United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York ordered the F.D.A. to make emergency contraceptives available over the counter to all women, with no age restrictions.
But no. We can’t have teenage girls saying no to pregnancy without someone’s permission – a doctor’s, their parents’, a priest’s - someone’s. The Times sums it up neatly.
Lack of access to safe contraception will not stop adolescents from having sex. Girls who have sex should not be punished with unintended pregnancies.