Monday, April 8, 2013

'There's Got To Be A Morning After...'

... pill, that is, with all due respect to Maureen McGovern's song. Pam Belluck at New York Times:
A federal judge on Friday ordered that the most common morning-after pill be made available over the counter for all ages, instead of requiring a prescription for girls 16 and younger. But his acidly worded decision raises a broader question about whether a cabinet secretary can decide on a drug’s availability for reasons other than its safety and effectiveness.

In his ruling, Judge Edward R. Korman of the Eastern District of New York accused the Obama administration of putting politics ahead of science. He concluded that the administration had not made its decisions based on scientific guidelines, and that its refusal to lift restrictions on access to the pill, Plan B One-Step, was “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.”

He said that when the Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, countermanded a move by the Food and Drug Administration in 2011 to make the pill, which helps prevent pregnancy after sexual intercourse, universally available, “the secretary’s action was politically motivated, scientifically unjustified, and contrary to agency precedent.”

I am willing to admit that there are different meanings wrapped up in the concept of "adult," but there is really only one significant physical meaning for a woman, and it should be the meaning reflected in all American law: if a female human being can become pregnant, she is an adult, regardless of her age, no ifs, ands or buts. And every adult human female should have unrestricted access to contraceptives, including morning-after pills of all sorts.

If you believe otherwise, ask yourself two questions: 1) am I an adult human female under that criterion? and 2) am I deciding for myself and only myself whether to avoid pregnancy? If you answered YES to both questions, fine: it's your decision. If you answered NO to either question, you may hold an opinion, but you may not compel a decision on the part of another person. Got it? Good.

(H/T ellroon.)

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