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Women’s Health Group Says Obama Disappoints

Heather Langone May 3, 2013

The Obama administration on Wednesday appealed a federal judge’s order to lift age restrictions on who can buy the morning-after birth control pill without a doctor’s prescription.In appealing the ruling, the administration made clear that Obama is sticking to his re-election campaign stance that young girls shouldn’t have over the counter access to emergency contraceptives. His stance is causing a bit of a frenzy among liberal supporters who point to the fact that physicians groups and much of his Democratic base insist that the pill should be readily available. A day earlier, the FDA lowered the age regarding who can have access to the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill to 15 from 17. This decision meant that the pill could be sold on drugstore shelves instead of locked behind the pharmacy. And, according to the NY Daily News, Obama’s apeal is especially troubling to women who applauded the President last week when he addressed members of Planned Parenthood and spoke of the organization’s “core principle” that women should be allowed to make their own decisions about their health.

Women’s health groups are seething and mostly it is being directed at President Obama. Usually his biggest supporters, they now say he isn’t doing enough to stand up for this issue in allowing women to have control over their own bodies and keep the government out of it. But did they expect a father of two young girls to be so left on this issue? Apparently, they did.

“It doesn’t square and that is what’s so disappointing,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. CPR is one of the groups listed in the emergency contraception lawsuit against the administration that’s prompted this week’s activity.

She goes on to say:

There couldn’t be a clearer record than there is in this case that emergency contraception is safe and effective for all ages, that we had not one but two administrations who continued to put what they judged as the politics of the issue about contraception ahead of what’s doing right for the public health,

The National Women’s Liberation Group feels this is a paramount issue to women’s health. Printed on their website are testimonials from women about how the morning after pill saved them. One of the personal testimonies below addresses the age issue:

President of Gainesville, Florida NOW

I had needed the morning after pill when my boyfriend, who is now my husband, and I had had sex and the condom came off. The following morning, which was a Saturday, I braved the football game day traffic to go to the campus infirmary which was closed. I had no idea where else I could possibly get it. So I just crossed my fingers and hoped that I wouldn’t be pregnant, I knew I would want an abortion if I was, rather than having to drop out of school and move back in with my parents. How great it would have been if I could have just had it in my bathroom cabinet or ran to the local drugstore to get it!—National Women’s Liberation

Women deserve access to the morning after pill any time, anywhere, and for any reason. And as for an age restriction, unwanted pregnancy is much more disruptive and dangerous when you’re young. A result of not taking the morning after pill when you’re 14 can mean having a baby when you’re 14.

While a women’s right to choose is important, pponents would argue that these are women’s issues not little girls’ big decisions thrust upon them by  women’s groups. And many would say why don’t mothers have a dog in this fight?  These women’s groups want the age to be 14 with no ID required.

While it does seem radical that an administration would stop the availability of a drug which is deemed safe and effective by both pediatricians and the FDA, some would say that women’s health groups encourage the government to be in their business when it works to their benefits as in the case of Roe v. Wade–then they are quite happy to have government intervention over their right to make a choice over their bodies.

So which is it? Does the government get to also draw a line in the sand when it concerns the protection of young girls?



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