In the months since the FDA’s approval of Truvada, some who work on prevention efforts in Black and low-income communities have urged PrEP proponents to pump their brakes.
Even with recent gains and electoral wins, there is a concentrated effort to limit women’s access to a full range of reproductive health services, including medical abortion.
Another pharmacy in Texas has refused to sell emergency contraception to a man.
“As doctors, we prescribe and recommend Plan B to adolescents and adults, knowing it is safer than Tylenol and many other products sold on drugstores’ open shelves.”
The Administration’s decision to ignore medical and scientific evidence and deny increased access to Plan-B suggests a failure to understand and acknowledge the effects of this decision on Latinas, women of color, undocumented immigrants and low-income women.
We cannot let the Democrats, let our president, lose sight of what this decades-old debate about access to all forms of reproductive healthcare is really about; that is, for women to have any sort of autonomy and self-determination within our society.
Whether President Obama was compelled to weave the bubble gum narrative for political gain or because it truly reflects his thinking, the result is the same. Complex sexual health issues get overly simplified, society focuses on stigma more than solution, and young people are left with policy decisions that don’t begin to match the weight of their lived experiences nor keep them “safe.”
A critique of reproductive politics written in the 1970s about events in the ‘20s and ‘30s is remarkably relevant to today’s leading reproductive controversy: the Obama Administration’s overruling of the FDA decision to allow over-the-counter status of Plan B emergency contraception for young women under the age of seventeen.
Kathleen Sebelius clearly upheld restrictions on emergency contraception as a naked political move, but it wasn’t even smart politics. Young women, a big voting bloc for Democrats, are insulted and will likely be demoralized by this decision.
Experts, who we count on for guidance and sound evidence-based medicine, have repeatedly shown Plan B to be not only extremely effective, but incredibly safe. Although the experts in the FDA agreed with the well-researched and well-presented data on Plan B, Secretary Sebelius and President Obama chose to ignore their expertise and base their decision on politics, not science.