Oops, he did it again! President Obama has decided that he knows what is best for young women in the United States. In late 2011, he decided that young women need a prescription to obtain Plan B, otherwise known as the morning-after pill. He urged us to use common sense and pulled the daddy card. Well, sorry, Mr. President it doesn’t work that way.
A federal judge’s ruling last month overturned the administration’s Plan B restrictions. U.S. District Judge Edward Korman ruled that the latest Food and Drug Administration’s decision to limit access to Plan B was “arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable.”
Big win, yes?
While the administration appeals the decision, “Dad-in-chief” Obama lobbed back with a new ‘compromise’ that allows anyone over 15 to have access to Plan B as an over-the-counter drug. This compromise holds numerous flaws.
First, how many 15-year-olds have government IDs? And in some parts of the country, say the urban areas, some teens don’t even drive yet. So their lack of government ID might go up to their 18th birthday.
Second, as the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health points out, many immigrant women do not have proper identification.
Third, having to present identification, even for adults can be embarrassing or lead to harassment by pharmacy workers. Because while Plan B may be moving out from behind the pharmacist’s area, it will certainly end up in a locked case.
I’m sure there are other reasons why this is a bad idea. It flies in the face of science as Plan B is safer than most other over-the-counter medications. Plan B is the last opportunity to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
Just days ago President Obama attended a Planned Parenthood event and gave a wonderful speech. I defended his non-use of the word “abortion,” but I can’t defend his decision to have the FDA appeal the judge’s decision.
At the same time as we are having a conversation about five-year-olds’ right to bear arms and Viagra is now available online, I cannot believe we are still weighing the morality of having Plan B available to all over-the-counter without identification. I just can’t.
Contributor Veronica Arreola writes the blog Viva la Feminista, where she tries to navigate and understand the intersection between feminism, motherhood and her Latinadad. You can follow her on Twitter @veronicaeye