Cruel Plan B Ruling Won't Even Help POTUS With Social Conservatives
"Is it a small bone thrown to our side? Sure. But it's political posturing in an election year," said Jeff Field, the Catholic League’s director of communications.
The Catholic League, a lay organization that's opposed to abortion, actually agrees with a leading pro-choice group that the decision is politically motivated.
"It really harkens back to the days I thought we were done with when politics trumps science," said Andrea Miller, president of NARAL Pro-Choice New York..
"There’s no indication that she's changing her stripes at all," said Field.
NARAL wants a reversal. The Catholic League wants the pill banned completely.
So this decision must be juuuust right.
I don't have much to add to what I wrote earlier on this. I consider the decision to be cruel. Many, many teenagers are going to needlessly become pregnant and either have abortions or children before they should because of this.
Teenagers have always had sex and they always will. The only question for any government is whether or not to stand in the way of scientific advances that will prevent unplanned pregnancies. This government has chosen to do just that by proclaiming, in the most Orwellian fashion, that "common sense" should trump scientific evidence.
There's a reason why no administration has never overturned an FDA ruling. (Even Republicans were afraid to evoke a "common sense says the science is wrong" exception, although I doubt they will be after this ...) It pretty much pushes the door wide open for the government to overturn any scientific finding that doesn't comport with their political needs. I think we can see the dark implications of that, can't we?
And as you can see by that story above, everyone agrees that this is a political calculation. Sadly, it's one with real life implications for actual human beings. The status quo is that a lot of young teenagers face unwanted pregnancies. They always have. And that will continue despite the fact that there is a safe alternative for many of them that doesn't require that they go through hoops that make it nearly impossible to use. (Time is of the essence with this one.)More children of children, more abortions, more heartache for young women who have done nothing more than what young people have always done. It didn't have to happen.
Update: Oh, and the pro-choice Democratic women who are saying that they're keeping their powder dry for the "bigger fight" are fooling themselves. The opponents of women's freedom will not stop until they get everything they want. They know that every little victory like this is another advance in their long term agenda. There will always be another fight. If the pro-choice officials keep retreating they will wake up one morning and find that there's nothing left to fight for.
Update: Apropos of nothing:
Discussing controversial classroom subjects such as evolution and global warming, Santorum said he has suggested that “science should get out of politics” and he is opposed to teaching that provides a “politically correct perspective.”
Update II: And this too:
The Union of Concerned Scientists published a statement yesterday on their website decrying the HHS decision—and Obama's support of it—as an attack not only on reproductive rights but also on sound science.
The UCS points out that this is the first time an HHS secretary has overruled the FDA on a drug approval. But as Erin Matson, action vice president of the National Organization of Women, noted on Twitter, the administration rarely disagrees with the FDA—drugs or no drugs. She tweeted: "Perhaps the last time the FDA was overruled: A cranberry recall in 1959. Now Obama admin after emergency contraception in 2011. OUTRAGE."
As such, yesterday's decision sets an ugly precedent for scientific assessment of drug safety. "The agency needs to be able to do its job without fearing that the integrity of its work will be compromised," says Francesca Grifo, director of the UCS's Scientific Integrity Program.
The UCS also points out that this decision flies in the face of Obama's commitment to scientific integrity in government. A few months after his 2009 inauguration, the president called for the Office of Science and Technology Policy to craft better protections for scientific research in government. "Political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions," the memo says.
Well, unless "common sense" says otherwise, of course.