Plan B

Hold the phone.

After promising that science would “inform and guide decisions of my Administration on a wide range of issues, including improvement of public health,” President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services has overriden an FDA recommendation to allow over the counter sales of Plan-B, an emergency contraceptive quick access to which is necessary for efficacy.

Since when did we decide that setting a precedent of overruling the FDA was a good idea? Is that a power you want future Presidents to have, Secretary Sebelius and President Obama? Because believe me, the next Republican President will gladly take your idea and apply it to every FDA recommendation he doesn’t agree with. (Yes, I assume the next Republican President will be male, even if they don’t take the White House for 12 years. That was not a casual lack of gender awareness; that was an intentional choice of gendered pronoun.) Science and math are not something one can disagree with. To paraphrase Ira Flatow today on Talk of the Nation, “Pythagorean Theorum? I don’t believe it. It’s only a theory.”

Since when does politics get to trump science? Didn’t you state as a goal, President Obama, that you wanted:

“To ensure that in this new Administration, we base our public policies on the soundest science; that we appoint scientific advisers based on their credentials and experience, not their politics or ideology; and that we are open and honest with the American people about the science behind our decisions. That is how we will harness the power of science to achieve our goals — to preserve our environment and protect our national security; to create the jobs of the future, and live longer, healthier lives.”

And didn’t you say this:

Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration on a wide range of issues, including improvement of public health…. The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decisions.

Sir, you are going to pay for this politically. Severely. You just ruined your relationship with liberal voters and women voters. Really, really dumb move.

Since when does the government get to tell women that they have to wait for the right pharmacist at the right pharmacy at the right time, else be forced to have an abortion? 72 hours is a tight window if you live in a small town and have to find a willing pharmacist during pharmacy hours when the people you can’t trust aren’t watching (for instance the husband who will beat you if he finds out, or the parents who will throw you out if they hear about your need for emergency contraception).

Hillary Clinton said that she believes “in the freedom of women to make their own decisions about the most personal and significant matters affecting their lives.” Once the FDA said Plan B should be sold over the counter, Secretary Clinton fought for three years to implement that recommendation.

Well, I hope she’s reading Obama the riot act tonight. I hope Hillary Clinton and Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi and Michelle Obama are right this minute telling that man how reprehensible it is to let politics dictate science.

Politics, by the way, that the OTHER SIDE hold dear.

Your supporters, President Obama, DO NOT SUPPORT YOU IN THIS.

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9 thoughts on “Plan B

  1. Obama’s career needs a Plan B. He will be unemployed soon.

    I KNOW Hillary Clinton is fuming. I just know. I am.

    And it’s not politics. It’s sexist shit.

  2. “President Obama, I am deeply disappointed that you and Kathleen Sebelius have chosen to ignore science and to put women and girls at risk by overriding the FDA’s recommendation of allowing women to access Plan B over the counter.

    You said that science would direct the decisions of your Administration. You did not tell us the truth.

    You said that women’s rights would be important to your administration. You did not tell us the truth.

    I am a mother. And I support the right of all women and girls who think they might be pregnant to access Plan B now that the FDA says it’s safe to do so without a prescription.

    You have maintained an insurmountable barrier to reproductive health for many women. You know that. You know that in many places in this country, pharmacists refuse to give women access to contraception and will use your executive decision to justify refusing women and girls the medication they need. You know that pharmacies are not always open 24 hours. And you know that Plan B must be taken within 72 hours to be effective. For many women and girls who need privacy there is a real risk that they won’t be able to get the drug within 72 hours. Unless it’s avaialbe over the counter.

    Not by the gum or the batteries. That’s GOP talk, sir. That’s a soundbyte written by Karl Rove. Shame on you for using it.

    Shame on you for failing to decrease the unwanted pregnancy rate in this country. By overriding the FDA you have increased the number of abortions that will be performed in this country. And you just gave future administrations the precedent of overruling science in favor of ignorance and bias.

    Shame on you. I supported you in your election. I pushed for a public option in healthcare but supported your plan because you asked me to.

    You know how desperately you need your voter base and you just lost feminists. You just lost women. You just lost mothers. And you just lost the whole liberal wing of your party.

    I do not support you in this terrible decision. And I believe I will no longer support your bid for reelection. You abandoned women and girls; I abandon you.”

    sent via the White House’s comment widget.

  3. I want so badly for Elizabeth Warren to run for Prez. I will write her in. I’m a registered independent. Obama punted on the Keystone XL Pipeline too. As long as he tapdances to the Rethugs and corps, he loses the dems and indies. Either way, we are screwed for the next 4 years. Again. Again. Again.

    • @Unicorn It’s all so depressing. So so so depressing. Elizabeth Warren’s too smart to run for President. She knows she can do more by making sense all over the place. She should go read him the riot act when his Secretary of State and his wife and his constituents are done.

      The problem with a terrible economy is votes get skittish and change just to change. And if they bring in the no government, complete free-for-all GOP, things will get worse. Then when the progressives get a chance again, they’ll hem and haw and get nothing done like the first two years of this guy’s Administration. Bah humbug indeed.

    • Oh, Jane. Every time some politician makes sweeping statements I just *know* they’ve never met someone who has really been hurt and for whom privacy and personal decisions mean the difference between life and death. I hope his wife lets him have it. In front of the girls. They need to know about this, too. Not to shame him, but to have a strong, intelligent woman tell him exactly why men cannot make decisions for women.

    • Ink, I’m so freaking mad I don’t know what to do with myself. And I’ve read analysis that says most progressives are just going to suck this one up and live to fight a bigger battle. I think that kind of political gamesmanship makes voters die a little bit with each issue that’s sacrificed to a future bigger battle god.

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