One Step Closer to Plan B

Plan B

The Obama administration has decided to stop trying to block over-the-counter access to Plan B, the morning-after contraceptive pill for women and girls of all ages.

Until now, the Justice Department had been fighting a judge’s order to allow anyone to purchase the pill, Plan B One-Step, without a prescription. US government lawyers had appealed Judge Korman’s April ruling arguing that he had exceeded his authority. Also, Obama was a little squeamish about making the drugs more widely available. He said that as the father of two young girls, the idea of making the drug available to them without a prescription made him uncomfortable.

But now the administration has given up, fearing that they might lose the appeals case and have it wind up in Supreme Court. Why are they so afraid of taking it to the Supreme Court? Well that would drastically elevate the debate over the issue, which is already a politically sensitive topic for the Obama administration.

The government’s decision to back down means that once the FDA approves Plan B for nonprescription use, any woman or girl will soon be able to walk into a drugstore and buy the pill – sans prescription. Under current laws, only girls aged 15 and older (and 17+ before April) can purchase the morning-after pill without a prescription – but now, thanks to Judge Korman’s ruling, even 12-year-olds can!

Women’s reproductive rights groups said the limit unfairly kept women and girls from accessing the drug, which is most effective when taken within 72 hours after sex. The groups have hailed the new decision as a significant moment in the battle over reproductive rights.

But not everyone is happy about the government giving into the Plan B ruling – especially Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. On Fox News’ Fox & Friends, friend of Fox Laura Ingraham made a “compelling” case that Obama’s decision to comply with the court order is only beneficial to rapists and pedophiles.

“It’s a good deal for pedophiles, a good deal for people who commit statutory rape against young girls,” Ingraham told Fox News. “If mothers and fathers across this country hear this and they think, ‘Well, I guess my daughter or her boyfriend or her rapist can go out to a pharmacy and get a bunch of, you know, hormone pills to give a little girl.’ We don’t really know the effect of a spiking or dropping a little girl’s — in many cases a young woman’s or a little girl’s hormonal levels. It’s outrageous!”

Not sure if rapists and pedophiles are actually deterred by the possibility of pregnancy, but good effort Laura! If only Plan B were available without a prescription when your parents had you…

Via: The New York Times

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