Obama Administration Plan B Emergency Contraception Shenanigans Update

Plan BCredit: PrincetonAh, remember the heady days at the beginning of the New Camelot, when a young charismatic President Barack Obama, avatar representative of the "reality-based community," promised, "We will restore science to its rightful place." Gone were the dark days of Medieval Bushism in which scientific findings were sacrificed to mere political expediency. Never again would science be subordinated to politics!

Then came the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) 2011 finding that Plan B emergency contraception was safe enough for any female to use without need of a prescription from a doctor. Obama Administration minion, Health and Human Services Department Secretary Kathleen Sibelius overruled the scientific findings and limited Plan B over-the-counter availability to women over the age of 17.

In April, federal district court judge took into account the scientific findings and ordered that Plan B be made available over-the-counter to all females. The FDA yesterday issued a new compromise ruling permitting women 15 years or older to purchase Plan B without a prescription. The FDA assured, "The FDA’s approval of Teva’s current application for Plan B One-Step is independent of that litigation and this decision is not intended to address the judge’s ruling."

Perhaps. Even so, the FDA's earlier scientific finding that the contraceptive was safe for women of all ages still stands. The Obama administration has until May 5 to appeal the federal court's ruling. If the administration does not file such an appeal, Plan B will become available over-the-counter for all women of reproductive age. Let's hope for the sake of preventing thousands of unintended teen pregancies that Obama will at long last keep his promise.

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  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "women 15 years or older"

    In a lot of states, try having sex with a 15-year-old "woman" and see how many years of prison you get.

    And if the widespread availability of contraceptives led to fewer unintended pregnancies, wouldn't there be some evidence of such? Wouldn't the unintended pregnancy rate have gone *down* after contraception became widely available around 1960?

  • Ron Bailey||

    EvH: Well, yes. For example, as the Guttmacher Institute reports:

    The majority (86%) of the decline in the teen pregnancy rate between 1995 and 2002 was the result of dramatic improvements in contraceptive use, including an increase in the proportion of teens using a single method of contraception, an increase in the proportion using multiple methods simultaneously and a substantial decline in nonuse. Just 14% of the decline is attributable to decreased sexual activity.[4]

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    He wasn't asking about the 1990s, he was asking about 1960 and forward. I am curious about that too.

  • Brandon||

    dramatic improvements in contraceptive use, including an increase in the proportion of teens using a single method of contraception...

    He answered the question. Just because it was available in 1960 doesn't mean it was widely used.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    No, he cherry-picked a time frame. If there was a rise in teen pregnancies for 30 years, then a drop from that 1990s high it is a wholly different answer than a drop between the 1990s and 2002.

  • Ron Bailey||

    AA: Actually according to CDC data births per 1,000 women ages 15-19 have fallen from near 100 in 1960 to 35 today.

    As for unintended pregnancies (for all women, married, single, etc.) the rate has hovered around 40 percent since 1982.

  • some guy||

    In a lot of states, try having sex with a 15-year-old "woman" and see how many years of prison you get.

    0 years if you are under 18 as well, which is usually the case.

  • Brandon||

    Yeah, you're totally right. Not just saying stupid, unsupported and easily debunked shit at all.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W.....of_Georgia

  • Zeb||

    One example does not debunk "usually".

  • Zeb||

    I'm pretty sure it is accurate to say that most cases of someone having sex with a 15 year old girl does not lead to prison time for anyone.

  • Brandon||

    Read some guy's post again, Zeb. Look at which clause the "Usually" refers to.

  • some guy||

    Fine:

    Almost always 0 years if you are under 18 as well.

    The overwhelming majority of underage on underage sex goes without prosecution, much less jail time, otherwise half the nation's male teens would be in jail. Why be so offended over something like this?

  • Brandon||

    Because it's pretending that an entire category of government abuse doesn't exist?

  • Brandon||

    Because it's pretending that an entire category of government abuse doesn't exist?

  • Brandon||

    0 years if you are under 18 as well,

    Absolute statement, no "usually" about it.

    ...which is usually the case

    Refers to "If you are under 18," not "0 years."

  • Zeb||

    I don't think it is unreasonable to call a person capable of getting pregnant a woman.

    "And if the widespread availability of contraceptives led to fewer unintended pregnancies, wouldn't there be some evidence of such? Wouldn't the unintended pregnancy rate have gone *down* after contraception became widely available around 1960?"

    Foreseeable consequences are not unintended? How do we know what is intended or not?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I was using the original post's terminology.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    This is what having an FDA gets you.

    Now, after this becomes available to all people of all ages, wait and see what happens to a merchant who decides "not in my store." Or worse, calls a parent when their child is trying to buy it.

  • Brandon||

    Meh. What I got from this story is what I get from most stories: Kathleen Sibelius is an evil cunt.

  • SugarFree||

    Hey, remember all the times you've heard anti-abortion types say they aren't interested in restricting access to contraception? No one is being asked to pay for this and I give a crap less about backwards-ass parents who kids are too afraid to talk to.

    Cheap, safe, reliable, doesn't lead to an unwanted child or an abortion... what's the problem? Oh, yeah. Unapproved sex isn't getting punished with a baby.

  • ||

    This.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, that. I can respectfully disagree with the person who thinks abortion is morally equivalent to murder. But to oppose contraception as well is just trying to impose a particular sexual morality which I won't respect.

  • robc||

    There is the question of whether Plan-B is contraception or abortion.

    I cant even remember how it works, because I dont care, but I know that is where the issue comes up.

    And Obama is anti-abortion?

  • SugarFree||

    It's about Obama (but he's an assbag anyway) Eddie is grousing about it and March of Life has come out against the OTC sale as well.

    It keeps an egg that might be fertilized from implanting. If taken the next day (as directed) it even prevents fertilization by flushing the egg out before the sperm gets to it.

    80% of all fertilized eggs don't implant with no intervention in the first place.

  • Marshall Gill||

    80% of all fertilized eggs don't implant with no intervention in the first place.

    So a positive action to prevent implantation is not aggression?

  • ||

    No it isn't. And again, we don't even know if it does that.

  • SugarFree||

    If you want to consider it aggression, go ahead. I'm fine with abortion up to viability.

    The real question is that if implantation is a low percentage action in the first place and there is a lot of debate whether the morning-after pill even prevents implantation and no evidence that it removes an implanted zygote, is taking Plan B really the moral equivalent of aborting a healthy 20-week fetus? And could you even begin to imagine the dizzying array of legal activities that can cause the "abortion" of a fertilized egg through non-implantation?

  • Marshall Gill||

    I am not questioning any legalities, really. I only seek personal moral clarity. I favor the legality of any and all drugs, including this one, so I wasn't referring to the legal questions.

    Can there really be scientific debate on if it prevents implantation? Since I have been unable to find a satisfactory (for me) objective place of new beginning, besides fertilization, I have to view this as immoral (again, for myself). The whole "we know for sure it does this but can't really know if it does that" seems like bullshit.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I haven't studied Plan B myself, though I know that many prolifers consider it an abortifacient.

    But I wasn't even coming at this from the prolife angle. AFAIK, nothing stops "enlightened" parents from buying Plan B for their daughters (or their sons' dates), so the question narrows itself down to the issue of whether young girls should be able to buy this stuff without their parents' permission, or even knowledge.

    You can talk all you want about "backwards-ass parents who kids are too afraid to talk to," but these parents are the ones who have a direct interest in their kids' welfare, not some FDA bureaucrat.

    You *do* realize that limiting the authority of parents tends to increase the authority of government bureaucrats, don't you?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "afraid to talk to" often translates as "afraid they'll say no."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Can I toss lighted firecrackers into the street?"

    "NO!"

    "I promise I'll be careful!"

    "NO!"

    "You see, this is why I'm afraid to talk to you."

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    AFAIK, nothing stops "enlightened" parents from buying Plan B for their daughters (or their sons' dates)

    Well, there you go. They don't need parental permission anyway, they just need an adult. An older sibling, a classmate who's already turned 17, whatever.

    All the age restriction does is add another layer of shame and embarrassment.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    There's shame and embarrassment associated with underage girls having extramarital sex? Must be a statist plot!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I would say that, in these circumstances, shame and embarrassment are (to borrow terminology from the sexual revolutionaries) perfectly normal, healthy reactions which shouldn't be denied or suppressed.

  • Gadianton||

    Out of curiosity, what is the classification of the Plan B pill? It's not a contraceptive, because it doesn't prevent conception (fertilization of the egg). It's not an abortifacient, because it doesn't dislodge a fertilized egg from the uterine wall. As I understand it, it keeps a fertilized egg from implanting. So what is it called?

  • ||

    Actually it is a contraceptive. The science on whether it also prevents implantation isn't settled.

    It is just a stronger version of one of the drugs used in birth control pills. Which makes it silly that you need a prescription for those.

  • ||

    It does prevent conception. It may also prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.

  • Marshall Gill||

    It may also prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.

    This is some choice wording by the manufacturer. They are NOT saying "we don't know if it prevents implantation" they are weaseling with how often it happens. What is the percentage of "may"? 1% of the time or 99% of the time?

  • ||

    The science on the subject is so politicized from both sides that we really don't know. May doesn't refer to how often it prevents implantation but whether it happens at all.

  • Marshall Gill||

    May doesn't refer to how often it prevents implantation but whether it happens at all.

    Do you really believe that they know for a fact that it prevents conception but are not sure if it prevents implantation? The FDA supposedly did a "scientific study" but don't know the effects to fertilized eggs?

  • ||

    Because failed implantation is so common under normal it is difficult to say whether Plan B contributes or not. I mean what are they supposed to do, get 1000s of women pregnant and see if implantation is even less common when administering Plan B?

  • ||

    Yeah, it's weird, but they actually don't know.

  • Ron Bailey||

    N: It would be really hard to watch thousands of eggs in real wombs in real time to find out for absolutely sure. Plan B operates chiefly by preventing or delaying ovulation.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Because failed implantation is so common under normal it is difficult to say whether Plan B contributes or not.

    Fair enough, I had not considered this.

  • Robert||

    Did FDA say the world was going to overheat and then explode? No? Then it wasn't science!!

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