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The Politics of a Second Chance

Kirsten Moore is President and CEO of The Reproductive Health Technologies Project (RHTP).

This was the best Halloween ever. No tricks, just one big treat. After three long years of denial and delay, the new ‘dual label' packages of Plan B were shipped out last week. That means sometime this week, those of us who are 18 and over and have identification to prove our age should be able to walk into area pharmacies and buy Plan B without a prescription. There is a difference of opinion within the reproductive health and rights community about whether this current situation constitutes a victory. Recently I was involved in a lively email exchange with a colleague who takes strong issue with my use of the word "victory" to describe the Plan B decision. He rightly points out that "the FDA's approach [to Plan B] violates fundamental principles of bioethics, including beneficence, autonomy, and justice." That it does. And I will continue to fight to make sure that when the moment is right, the FDA and Barr roll back the unwarranted restrictions on access to Plan B. In the meantime, though I am celebrating the fact that Plan B will be easier to get for many and that we arrived here with the Administration's begrudging acquiescence. Why do I believe this?

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Declaring Victory: Writing the Next Chapter

Kirsten Moore is President and CEO of The Reproductive Health Technologies Project (RHTP).

When state legislatures are passing abortion bans; when women are being denied access to birth control; when laws are enacted to criminalize pregnant women's behavior, it is easy to understand why some advocates and strategists believe the way to regain momentum is to focus on prevention of unintended pregnancy and abortion to highlight the extremism and hypocrisy of our political opposition.

Certainly, exposing the opposition's agenda will motivate some, but I believe we can and must do better. To really change the tone and direction of the abortion debate in this country, we have to acknowledge that most people are ambivalent about abortion. That's okay; uncertainty doesn't mean anti-choice. We should recognize – and indeed celebrate – that abortion is not the same lynchpin in women's equality that it once was. We must renew our efforts to build a policy agenda, organizing strategies, legal framework and long term message strategy that reflect the "pro-child" side of our "pro-choice" mission that will connect with people's hopes and aspirations for their future and their family's future.

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