From the AP:
After setting off a storm of criticism from abortion rights groups
upset that a Democratic president had sided with social conservatives,
the Obama administration said it will comply with a judge's order to
allow girls of any age to buy emergency contraception without
prescriptions. But in doing so, at least one opponent of easy
access to the contraception thinks the president is buckling to
political pressure, rather than making the health of girls a priority.
The Justice Department notified U.S. District Judge Edward Korman on
Monday that it will submit a plan for compliance. If he approves it, the
department will drop its appeal of his April ruling. According to
the department's letter to the judge, the Food and Drug Administration
has told the maker of the pills to submit a new drug application with
proposed labeling that would permit it to be sold "without a
prescription and without age or point-of-sale prescriptions." The FDA
said that once it receives the application, it "intends to approve it
Advocates for girls' and women's rights said the
federal government's decision to comply with the judge's ruling could be
a move forward for "reproductive justice" if the FDA acts quickly and
puts emergency contraception over the counter without restriction. "It's
about time that the administration stopped opposing women having access
to safe and effective birth control," Annie Tummino, coordinator of the
National Women's Liberation and lead plaintiff in a lawsuit over
unrestricted access to the morning-after pill, said in an emailed
statement. She said women and girls should have "the absolute
right to control our bodies without having to ask a doctor or a
pharmacist for permission."
Quite apart from the abortion debate, it is scandalous that there be no provision to distinguish between a child fully incapable of understanding the consequences of such a choice and one who, though somewhat capable, may immaturely choose to ignore those consequences. Once again we have bowed to a judge and a court to decide what is wise, prudent, and beneficial. So a 5 year old with a few bucks could purchase the morning after pill the way way she might purchase a candy bar and this is progress. Remove all discussion of abortion and take this simply on the merits of this narrow issue. How can those who insist they are working on behalf of the rights of women allow such an abuse of a child? We won't let a child carry a Tylenol to school or even a cough drop (in most schools) but we will insist that a girl of any age and maturity be allowed access to a pill she may not even need or understand.
In the narrow scope of what may be decided on strict legality, common sense, prudence, and wisdom are cast to the wind. How can anyone in their right mind defend this as in the best interest of a child? It just goes to show you that the issues in the greater debate over life issues have as much to do with common sense and the prudent wisdom of parenthood as they do the major moral issue of life and death. When we abdicate wisdom and prudence in favor of an unfettered liberty, we enslave those most prone to be victims. Clearly we have more to do than merely argue the cause of life. We have the challenge of restoring a semblance of common sense to the halls of justice and the arbiters of public policy. Just as shocking is the decision of the Obama administration that this issue is not worth the fight for a more nuanced and mature application of the judicial ruling.