The recent controversy regarding the administration’s opinion that fifteen-year-old and younger females should be able to go to a drug store and purchase emergency contraception, without a prescription from a doctor and without the parents’ knowledge, was set aside on April 5th by Judge Edward Korman, from the Eastern District of New York, who gave the FDA 30 days to remove age restrictions on the sale of emergency contraception, such as Plan B One-Step.
In his ruling, Korman was dismissive of the government’s arguments and, in particular, previous decisions by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that required girls under 17 to get a prescription for the emergency contraceptive. In 2011, Sebelius overruled a recommendation by the FDA to make the drug available to all women without a prescription. The FDA said at the time that it had well-supported scientific evidence that Plan B One-Step is a safe and effective way to prevent unintended pregnancy.
Sebelius, however, said she was concerned that very young girls couldn’t properly understand how to use the drug without assistance from an adult.
She invoked her authority under the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and directed FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to issue “a complete response letter.” As a result, “the supplement for nonprescription use in females under the age of 17 is not approved,” Hamburg wrote at the time.
On May 1st Sebelius’ agency challenged Korman’s decision. The move is the latest chapter in a 10-year, controversial debate about who should have access to the drug and why.
Plan B prevents implantation of a fertilized egg in a woman’s uterus through use of levonorgestrel, a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone used for decades in birth control pills. Plan B contains 1.5 milligrams of levonorgestrel, more than “the Pill” contains. It is considered a form of birth control, not abortion by some. However, the Catholic Church maintains that Plan B is a form of abortion, because fertilization has taken place.
On May 2nd Rep. Steve Stockman (R), of Texas’s 36th congressional district, tweeted “Democrats on health care: 15-year-olds who want birth control are adults. 26-year-olds who want health insurance are children.” Admittedly, Stockman likes to shock. In April he made available a bumper sticker which read “If babies had guns, they wouldn’t be aborted.”
However, Stockman makes a good point. In Obamacare, “children” can remain on their parents’ health insurance until their 27th birthday. I don’t think I would call a 26-year-old woman a “child” with what that implies in the sense of housing, feeding, care, etc. that a parent would give a pre-teen.
Yet, the Obama administration considers those females who are 16 to be adults when it comes to Plan B. Judge Korman would go below 15. He’s just plain nuts.
As a former school administrator I could not give a student an aspirin without a parent’s permission. Yet, in this Orwellian world, Judge Korman feels it’s okay for females under 15 to go to the drug store and purchase the “morning-after” pill without anyone knowing.
Catholic Kathleen Sebelius and Obama himself are not much better in their positions. President Obama said on May 2nd he was comfortable with his administration’s decision to allow over-the-counter purchases of a morning-after pill for anyone 15 and older.
The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday had lowered the age at which people can buy the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill without a prescription to 15 – younger than the current limit of 17. The FDA decided that the pill could be sold on drugstore shelves near condoms, instead of locked behind pharmacy counters.
Obama, speaking at a news conference while in Mexico, said the FDA’s decision was based on “solid scientific evidence.”
Mr. O, you are certainly no scientist, nor much of a person consistent on anything … and we have you leading this country until 2017. As a pro-life Catholic, I cannot wait until you leave office and stop inflicting your twisted moral logic on everyone … and don’t get me started on the economy, gay marriage, the regulations curtailing the coal industry, or the Benghazi cover-up.