Obama Defends Limits On Morning-After Pill
The New York Times, Washington Post and others analyze the president's support of his health secretary's decision to limit access to the Plan B pill.
The New York Times: Obama Endorses Decision To Limit Morning-After Pill
President Obama, who took office pledging to put science ahead of politics, averted a skirmish with conservatives in the nation’s culture wars on Thursday by endorsing his health secretary’s decision to block over-the-counter sales of an after-sex contraceptive pill to girls under age 17 (Calmes and Harris, 12/8).
The Washington Post: Plan B Decision Draws Strong And Mixed Reaction
President Obama on Thursday defended his administration’s decision to block unrestricted sales of the morning-after pill as a “common-sense” parenting choice, even as women’s rights advocates condemned it as a cynical move that could provoke a damaging political backlash for the president next year (Kornblut and Aizenman, 12/8).
The Wall Street Journal: Obama Backs 'Plan B' Move
President Barack Obama said Thursday he didn't influence a controversial decision to block the Plan B emergency contraceptive from being sold to young girls without a prescription, but made clear he supports the move (Meckler and Corbett Dooren, 12/9).
Politico: The Plan B Call: Politics Vs. Science
It wasn’t just Democrats and abortion rights groups that howled when HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the FDA on Wednesday and declared that Plan B shouldn’t be available over the counter to girls under age 17. It was medical groups, too — because in their view, the evidence is already settled that the emergency contraception is safe and effective, regardless of age. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine all blasted the decision (Nather, 12/8).
Bloomberg: Obama Says He Backs Decision To Curb Teens Access To Morning-After Pill
President Barack Obama today backed his health secretary’s decision to overrule U.S. drug regulators and deny Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA)’s request to sell its emergency contraceptive pill Plan B over the counter....“When it comes to 12-year-olds or 13-year-olds, the question is: Can we have confidence that they would potentially use Plan B properly?” Obama said at a press conference, adding that he wasn’t involved in the process. Obama said that, as the father of two young daughters, he supports Sebelius’s decision (Edney and Armstrong, 12/8).
The Hill: Obama Agrees With Sebelius On Decision To Limit Morning-After Pill
“I will say this. As the father of two daughters, it makes sense to apply some common sense,” Obama said. He said Sebelius “could not be confident a 10-year-old or a 11-year-old going to a pharmacy would [not] be able to … buy a medication that could have an adverse effect.” Sebelius overruled Food and Drug Administration regulators on Wednesday by leaving in place a restriction that women younger than 17 must get a prescription for the Plan B contraceptive commonly known as the morning-after pill. FDA regulators had recommended that all women be able to get the drug without a prescription (Swanson, 12/8).
The Hill: Pelosi Avoids Criticism Of Obama, Sebelius On Morning-After Pill
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) avoided criticizing President Obama or Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for the decision to overrule federal regulators and limit access to the morning-after pill. At a Thursday news conference, Pelosi said science should guide the decision about whether to make Plan B available without a prescription to girls younger than 17. But she did not criticize Sebelius for overruling scientists at the Food and Drug Administration to block wider access to Plan B (Baker, 12/8).