A teen speaks out on the emergency contraception controversy says, “Obama, stop patronizing me!”
On Wednesday, the administration lost that battle, in part, when the Food and Drug Administration was ordered to immediately make two-dose emergency contraception available over-the-counter without an age restriction. The administration is continuing to appeal age restrictions for one-dose emergency contraception, like Plan B One-Step.
Why would the Obama administration support such restrictions, which not only put the health and lives of young women at risk, but also further disable young women from taking control of our sexuality with the empowerment and liberation that many of us wish for?
Placing an age limit on emergency contraception is simply discrimination. For example, while the administration’s plan allows women age 15 and up to purchase emergency contraception, it says that a store clerk must first verify a woman’s age before she is allowed to buy the drug. For many but not all adults, proof of age is a non-issue if they have driver’s licenses or state-issued identification at the ready. But let’s be real: Many 15-year-olds, and for that matter women of all ages, do not have licenses, permits, or other forms of easily accessible government identification. In Maryland, where I live, teens can’t apply for a learner’s permit until they are 15 years and nine months old. If my own experience is any judge, I was late in getting my permit and then promptly lost it for a stretch of time. Under the rule the Obama administration wanted to impose, my mistake would require me to lug in a passport or a birth certificate to get completely safe and time-sensitive medicine. Digging through documents is not always practical when emergency contraception should be taken as soon as possible for maximum effectiveness.
The age restriction also fails to acknowledge that—spoiler alert—young people have sex. While only 13 percent of teens have had sex by age 15, that’s still more than one in ten teens who deserve the same protection and health-care services that women of other ages receive. If we continue to ignore the reality that young people can and will be sexual, we will have no choice but to contend with even more teens with children of their own.
Many young teenagers who have sex are painted by conservative political and religious rhetoric as misguided and troubled girls. But of the young women I know who had sex by age 15, most are happy teenagers who, just like many older adults, chose responsible partners and used appropriate birth control options. Sure, there are some 15-year-olds who have sex recklessly and irresponsibly, but aren’t there 45-year-olds who do the same?
The Obama Administration has been ordered to make some emergency contraception immediately available to all ages, and we’re just like….
10 Reasons Why the Obama Administration Is Wrong on Emergency Contraception
1. Half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. EC offers a last chance to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse or birth control failure.
2. The administration wants to make EC available only to individuals age 15 and older. How many people do you know who are younger than 16 and have state-issued IDs with their actual birth date? Under the Obama-supported plan, these young people would have to hold passports to purchase EC, a ridiculous requirement given that less than 5 percent of all Americans—of any age—have passports.
3. Several studies have determined that no deaths or serious complications have been causally linked to EC.
4. There are no situations in which the risks of using combined or progestin-only EC outweigh the benefits.
5. Scientists have concluded that “repeated use of EC is safer than pregnancy, in particular when the pregnancy is unintended and women do not have access to safe early abortion services.”
6. One challenge to making EC more widely available is the belief that women may be less diligent with their ongoing contraception. But regular use of EC is far less effective than other contraceptive methods. I think women understand that “E” stands for “emergency” and will behave accordingly.
7. One study demonstrated that educating teens about EC does not increase their sexual activity levels or use of EC, but it does increase their knowledge about proper administration of the drug.
8. Emergency contraception is sold over the counter in six countries and can be obtained directly from a pharmacist, without a prescription, in 54 countries.
9. Many medical groups, including the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Society for Adolescent Medicine support making Plan B available over-the-counter without restrictions.
10.When the Obama administration made its December 2011 decision to limit access to EC, it went against the recommendations of medical professionals who’d spent years researching this issue. As Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg put it:
The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) determined that the product was safe and effective in adolescent females, that adolescent females understood the product was not for routine use, and that the product would not protect them against sexually transmitted diseases. Additionally, the data supported a finding that adolescent females could use Plan B One-Step properly without the intervention of a healthcare provider.
So here’s what happened: FDA says anyone can buy the pill, HHS says you have to be 17. Judge Korman says anyone can buy the pill, then the FDA approves an “unrelated” application to sell it to girls 15 and older, which prompts the Department of Justice to challenge the broader court order about the pill in general.
So, at the end of the day, the DOJ is trying to restrict the (prescription-free) morning-after pill to women 17 and older, the FDA approved one kind for those 15 and older, and everybody still needs a government-issued ID to buy the pill, even the 15-year-olds. So if you need emergency contraception, kiddos, you best have your passport handy, because any teenager who has unprotected sex without a photo ID is just supposed to have a baby, that’s what you get for being so irresponsible, A BABY. Love, Obama.—
The Wonkette - Obama Does Not Want Babies To Have Babies
Please to note, this is the same guy who said “government should not intrude on our most private family matters, and women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care. Today and every day, my Administration continues our efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and minimize the need for abortion. On this anniversary, we recommit ourselves to supporting women and families in the choices they make and redouble our efforts to promote safe and healthy communities.”