The world’s largest, most comprehensive and systematic review of mental health outcomes and abortion care shows abortion does not increase the risk of mental health problems, but unwanted pregnancy does. The results led to a British medical journal calling for reversal of the recent HHS decision to deny young women access to emergency contraception.
Teenagers already get around the legal barriers that exist and will continue existing in accessing emergency contraception. While these steps showcase their maturity to be able to safely and smartly take emergency contraception, we should not have to force teenagers to go around the system to access a pill they need in a timely manner.
I got to thinking about what else the President’s decision portends. The essence of successful politicians like, say, Margaret Hamburg and Kathleen Sebelius, is three-fold. What starts all over every morning is the (political) big leagues ballgame. What starts over every day in these big leagues, just like the baseball ones, is a game that is played only one way: the hardball way.
Today, 14 Senators, 13 Democrats and one independent, wrote HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking her to provide them with the scientific evidence and rationale for her decision to deny access to Plan B to teens over the counter
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.
Disappointed, angry, dismayed — these are only some of the emotions I am feeling this afternoon after hearing President Obama’s poor excuse for restricting access to Plan B One Step. I am also scared. How does Obama’s hollow rationale and rejection of science make him any different than Michele Bachmann?
“Dr.” Kathleen Sebelius prescribed us a bitter pill when she ignored overwhelming evidence on the safety and effectiveness of emergency contraception to prohibit its sale over-the-counter. Is this change we can believe in? It’s certainly not a “common sense” solution. President Obama and Secretary Sebelius should listen to real doctors and the FDA Commissioner, and make this decision based on science, not politics.