Obama Administration Appealing Judge's Ruling on Plan B

Thursday, May 02, 2013

In a move that pits the Obama administration firmly against women's reproductive health advocates, the Justice Department filed a notice to appeal a judge's decision to allow girls under 15 years of age to have over-the-counter access to the morning after pill. The administration has long held the stance that the drug cannot be sold without some consideration of age and follows on a decision by Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, who blocked the sale of the morning after pill to young girls without a prescription.

The appeal by the Justice Department doesn't mandate a specific age at which girls can have over-the-counter access.

Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich has been following the legal and political battle over Plan B.


Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

Comments [8]

CK from North ov NY

Dorren: As noted, I'm not against the Plan B pill. I'm a parent however, and there ARE side effects to this thing. Not the least of which is-- a teen had unprotected sex and maybe as a parent we should be talking about that. I don't want my children (and I have teens) taking any medication without my awareness. "No young girl is going to take a pill that lightly." Really-- but they had unprotected sex without a plan (or they just knew they'd go get this pill after.)

I say, make it available, but girls under 18 need parental concent. Don't sign away my rights and responsibilities as a parent because you think teens are so "capable."

May. 02 2013 03:52 PM
Doreen from Queens

I agree with Susan and Michelle - Plan B is emergency contraception. Todd got it totally wrong when he said it prevents ovulation (!) - that is not correct. It prevent the eggs from being implanted, the egg needs to be fertilized and implanted for pregnancy to occur. I know that people whose regligious beliefs believe that life begins with a fertilised egg would have a problem with it but I don't understand why so many parents of teenagers are so upset by this (including the Obamas!). Of course all parents want their children to wait to have sex, I am a parent of a toddler myself and will have to go through this later, but if their teen doesn't follow their wishes, I think the teen that is responsible enough to know that they made a mistake and then try to correct it right away should be able to do that. ( You have to take Plan B within 72 hours of unprotected sex. ) The teen that is looking to take Plan B is more likely to be the one that used the condom but it broke. No young girl is going to take a pill that lightly. Plan B like all pills can have side effects - it can give you cramps and make you nauseous. It's the teen that has sex and 'whoops' a few weeks later I missed my period is the teen everyone should be worrying about! - not the ones who knows what they are doing and use condoms and Plan B. Teens should not be having babies, when they are still children themselves and anything that can be done to prevent that,
including educating them to wait and Plan B for those who messed up, should be allowed.

May. 02 2013 03:29 PM
John A

Plan B is only 50% effective (PBS NewsHour) so it just becomes a gateway drug for your 15 year olds abortion anyway. My objections should be evident by the context.

May. 02 2013 03:20 PM
CK from North of NY

This speaker is incorrect. Sure there are those who are anti-aborion and concerned that this is a form of it. Frankly, this is the best way to prevent abortions later in pregnancies. This is a great help. The ISSUE is that this is being made available for children. You can't say that becuase they've had sex they're grown up and able to make decisions about this kind of medicatioh. I am a parent: I don't want my child taking medication like this without supervision. He stated taht they "understand". What a crock: they don't understand to use a condom or birth control but they're fully up to speed on the details of a drug?? This is wrong from a parent's rights perspective.

May. 02 2013 03:13 PM
Ed from Larchmont

This administration wants sexual license to the maximum, it's their primary purpose. How about teenagers not using sexuality irresponsibly?

May. 02 2013 03:09 PM
Davis Straub from Groveland, Florida


"If you read only one judicial opinion this year, you might consider skipping the Supreme Court entirely and going right to a decision issued early this month by Judge Edward R. Korman of Federal District Court in Brooklyn."

"If the administration accepts this decision rather than appeal it — and thus display judgment and courage that it has conspicuously lacked on this issue until now — then Judge Korman’s opinion will be, with any luck, not only the latest chapter but the last. The regulatory debate, the judge pointed out, has already lasted 12 years.

"As I said, this opinion, Tummino v. Hamburg, was hardly ignored when it was issued on April 4. But it’s worth reading in full by anyone who wants to observe the judicial process at its finest. “Speaking truth to power” is a hackneyed phrase, and no doubt it’s what the district judges who struck down the Affordable Care Act thought they were doing. But Judge Korman, a 70-year-old senior judge who took his seat in 1985 after a distinguished career in private practice and government service, shows how it’s done, with meticulous attention to facts and context. If I were teaching a law school course on administrative law — the law of the juncture between citizens and the federal executive branch — I would assign this opinion as homework for the first class and then spend the rest of the semester unpacking it."

May. 02 2013 12:16 PM
Susan from NYC

Plan B is not abortion, it is emergency contraception. It is very problematic that you two men did not get that correct. Also, a very odd assertion was made made by one of you - If the doctor was available, the woman wouldn't need the emergency contraceptive - Huh?

May. 02 2013 09:53 AM
Michelle from nyc

Maybe I missed something but I believe I heard Todd Zwillich say, "Yes this is about abortion" when referring to taking the Plan B pill. This is of course not accurate. Plan B is about preventing conception which is a far cry from abortion. Also Plan B costs about $35 per pill so it is disingenuous to compare Plan B to taking an aspirin.

May. 02 2013 09:29 AM

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