October 1, 2022

Obama administration bans morning-after pill for under-17s

In a surprise move, the Obama Administration has overruled a decision by the Federal Food and Drug Adminisration to allow girls under 17 to buy the morning-after pill without a prescription.

 

In a surprise move, the Obama Administration has overruled a decision by the Federal Food and Drug Adminisration to allow girls under 17 to buy the morning-after pill without a prescription.

The head of the FDA had 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 disease.” But Health and Human Services Secretarary Kathleen Sibelius told the media that she felt uncomfortable with 11-year-olds accessing the pill.

President Obama supported the decision. “[Secretary Sibelius] could not be confident that a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old going to a drugstore should be able — alongside bubble gum or batteries — be able to buy a medication that potentially, if not used properly, could have an adverse effect,” he said. “And I think most parents would probably feel the same way.”

The move seems nakedly political. Facing an uphill battle to retake the White House in next year’s election campaign, the President clearly did not want to antagonise conservative voters.

But progressives are dismayed at a return to Bush Administration policies. “We are outraged that this administration has let politics trump science,” Kirsten Moore, president of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project told the New York Times. ~ New York Times, Dec 7

Michael Cook
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