Sunday, April 7, 2013

Justice Finally Prevails in Making Morning After Pill Available To All

No, The Government Should Not Try to Dictate Morality and Legal Behavior

In a court decision that Conservatives should applaud, but won’t, a federal judge has ruled that no, the government cannot set a dual standard where some women have access to the morning after pill, and some do not.  The government had said that women 16 and over could buy the bill with no prescription, but that if you were under 16 you needed a prescription.  There was no medical basis for this policy.

Scientists, including those at the F.D.A., have been recommending unrestricted access for years, as have major medical groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. In 2011, the F.D.A. commissioner, Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, issued a statement saying that after rigorous study the agency concluded it was safe to sell Plan B One-Step over the counter. But she was overruled by Ms. Sebelius, the Health and Human Services secretary, the first time such a public countermanding had ever occurred.

The decision was eloquent in its defense of freedom and its actions to uphold the rule of law.  The ruling was a sharp rebuke for the government, as well it should have been.

The judge accused the federal government of “bad faith” in dealing with the requests to make the pill universally available.

“More than 12 years have passed since the citizen petition was filed and 8 years since this lawsuit commenced,” the judge wrote. “The F.D.A. has engaged in intolerable delays in processing the petition. Indeed, it could accurately be described as an administrative agency filibuster.”

He added, “The plaintiffs should not be forced to endure, nor should the agency’s misconduct be rewarded by, an exercise that permits the F.D.A. to engage in further delay and obstruction.”

because if a medicine is deemed safe, then it is deemed safe.  It is simply not the government’s business that some people should not use it.  Legally (and ethically we should add) the judge said the same standards apply to aspirin and to contraceptives.  The law is the law.

That is the reason that Conservatives ought to applaud the decision.  The decision reigns in government power and returns it to where it should be, the people.  The opinion contained this quote from the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

In our opinion, the secretary’s decision to retain behind-the-counter status for Plan B One-Step was based on politics rather than science. It cannot be based on issues of safety, since a 12-year-old can purchase a lethal dose of acetaminophenin any pharmacy for about $11, no questions asked. The only documented adverse effects of a $50 dose of levonorgestrel are nausea and delay of menses by several days. Any objective review makes it clear that Plan B is more dangerous to politicians than to adolescent girls.

but Conservatives will hate it, because despite their rhetoric they want government to control individual behavior.  They are not against government mandating how people should live, they just want to make sure government controls behavior in the way that they think is right.

There should be not doubt in anyone’s mind about the thought process of Conservatives here.  They want themselves and government to manage and dictate against what is otherwise legal behavior.  They want people to live the way they and only they think people should live.  They want to prevent or even outlaw sexual activity between unmarried individuals and they want the fear of unwanted pregnancy to be used in their cause.  Contraception removes the fear, and that is why Conservatives are so opposed to its availability.  So no, they do not support freedom.

No their positions are not conservative.  Conservatives are not conservative.

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