But there's another story, which may go unnoticed by many, that I'd like to call attention to, because it's something that's important to me and my past.
Yesterday, federal judge Edward Korman struck down an Obama administration action which banned over-the-counter Plan B contraception for young women under the age of 17. This meant that, if you were 17 or over, you could get emergency contraception over the counter, but if you were under 17, you needed a prescription. But after Judge Korman's ruling, this policy is history, and women of all ages must have full over-the-counter access to emergency contraception, to the chagrin of the Obama administration.
The previous Obama administration action came from the Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who nullified a multi-year FDA study which showed that Plan B emergency contraception is safe for women of all ages and should be over-the-counter.
Luckily, Judge Korman wasn't having any of that. He wrote a harsh take-down of the Obama administration, as the Washington Post put it:
On Friday, Korman called that move “arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable.” Sebelius’ actions, he said, were “politically motivated, scientifically unjustified, and contrary to agency precedent.”Basically, the judge was chastising Obama for using political and ideological bitterness to interfere in a scientific study by the FDA.
And in case there was any doubt that Obama was behind this ridiculous limitation on access to emergency contraception for young women:
Obama stands by Sebelius’s decision, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday.You read that correctly: He believed it was right.
“He believes it was the right, commonsense approach to this issue,” Carney said. “His position has not changed.”
This whole case actually traces its roots back to the Bush administration, which used similar tactics to limit Plan B access to just women 18+.
So the same judge Korman back in 2009 ordered the FDA to reconsider its political decision under Bush to reject Plan B access to young women under 18. The FDA studied it and came to the conclusion that it was safe. And then the Obama Administration nullified that study, which has been taken to court, and now Judge Korman has put the whole issue to rest.
A hectic, twisted timeline, but in the end, the right thing has happened: despite the opposition of the Obama administration, women of all ages will now have access to this safe emergency contraception, without having to jump through hoops of prescriptions and parental notifications.
Now for the personal part. About 10 years ago I myself was in an uncomfortable spot that required my girlfriend at the time and I to need Plan B. Under Bush, this wasn't possible over the counter. Instead, thanks to her college-age sister, we were able to do what was necessary for two 16-year-olds who made a stupid mistake to do.
But even under Obama, with policies that his spokesman has just said he supported and still supports, to limit emergency contraception over the counter to women 17 and over, my then-girlfriend and I would have still been in a bind where we would have had to use some "loophole" to get access to the medication needed.....until now.
It's only thanks to Judge Korman that Obama's strange paternalist policies are not being inflicted on young people in similar situations around the world today.
So it all worked out in the end, our little American system of checks and balances. The people have won. Freedom has prevailed for young men and women around the country.