Just a quick post to register revulsion about Kathleen Sibelius's decision to stop "Plan B" from being sold as an over-counter-drug. Here's what President Obama had to say about this (quote lifted from Jerry Coyne, who's been doing a fine job of covering the topic)--
What? No, I'm a parent, and don't feel the same way. In fact, Obama's reasoning is terrible. An 11 year old girl can go into a drug store and buy Tylenol alongside bubble gum or batteries. It's very easy to overdose on Tylenol if you don't read the directions. (Why would she want to buy her own Tylenol, you may ask? Maybe she has menstrual cramps. Maybe she doesn't want to discuss that with her dad. Maybe her parents are at work. Lots of reasons.) In fact, the directions on many medications say a doctor should supervise use for children under 12. So the directions on over-the-counter "Plan B" would be unremarkable, if they said the same thing.
No, I'm afraid we can see right through you, President Obama. We mustn't upset social conservatives who want girls to face maximum humiliation if they didn't learn their lesson in "abstinence only" sex education class. Girls distraught and trying to take care of themselves might actually be considered worthy of care and respect, but hell no, not in an election year.
Can you think of anything which, if used incorrectly, could not result in adverse effects? I've only been at it a few minutes, but I can't.
Your argument would be persuasive if kids have been provided with good sex-ed to start with. Improper use of a drug is not restricted to potential overdose or adversely impacting comorbidity - but also using the drug where it is not the right choice for the situation or degenerate to an unintended placebo. How does plan-B help with STDs? If a kid is having unprotected sex - a confidential chat with some adult is in-order. "Maybe she doesn't want to discuss that with her dad" is a good argument against not for making it available to children - may be she doesn't talk to anybody except equally ill-informed peers.
I do think that it should be available over the counter. Mostly because its advantage to adult women outweighs any potential impact on children. But your argument that it is a net gain for kids on its own doesn't seem to be right. It might be, if you can show some study that a random sample from 12 year olds across the country overwhelmingly know how exactly the pill fits in the contraceptive spectrum. Kids who go with their mom to concerts don't count as typical representative samples. Obama playing Helen Lovejoy is probably political - but you make it sound uncharacteristically (from what I have read of you) unambiguous. There is some tradeoff involved.
Ian, My point is just that the chance of 11 year olds misusing this drug is nothing unique to this drug. The same argument could be made for keeping tylenol behind the counter. I'm not saying it would be positively good for 11 year olds to take the drug (maybe yes, maybe no). It's important for the drug to be out on the shelves for the sake of older teenage girls. 15 and 16 year olds won't get to have it at all (they're obviously not going to go to a doctor and get a prescription in time for a "morning after" drug). Even college age women are less likely to get it, since many will not want to ask at the counter. Keeping Plan B behind the counter is like keeping condoms behind the counter--it's surely going to cut down a lot on use.
Obama has been selling out on a whole range of issues since he got elected. I wouldn't even be certain that we ought to chalk this up to "election year" politics. Outside of his first year in office (and that's being generous) Obama has pretty much been working hard to the change the definition of change. I find it noteworthy that this action has kicked up more flack from the ostensible "non-political" blogs that I read than the many other atrocities of the Obama administration.
Maybe it's gotten such a big reaction because it seems like exactly the sort of thing the Bush administration would have done. We are angry because we thought Obama was going to be the unBush. I always thought, and still think, Hilary was a better candidate.
I thought he would wield the bully pulpit better than Hillary but MAN has he disappointed me in that regard. I don't know that she would have been better on security or health care (meaning I think things would have been the same), but I do think she would have been stronger on social issues for sure.
Obama's been extremely good at killing bad guys, which I appreciate a lot, but yeah--bully pulpitting has not been a strength. Amazing, since people loved him as a speaker in 2008. I never really did--always found his speeches too fluffy and "visionary." I thought Hilary had a lot more substance. I shall try to get inspired, though, in the near future, as we obviously can't support any of the clowns on the other side.
Well they do appear to be adept at pratfalling themselves right out the door....Who would have thought Gingrich would become the next "Anyone but Romney?"
I really just view Obama as a softer version of Reagan. The Overton window in the country has marched so far to the right it's kind of hard to believe....
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