FDA must make Morning After pill available over the counter to everyone

Birth Control Pills

Kathleen Sebelius, showing one of her rare moments of good sense, had the FDA limit the Morning After pill to girls and women over 17.  A federal judge in Brooklyn has overruled that, saying it must be sold over-the-counter without limits to help slow teen pregnancy. I’m not going to discuss morality right now.  I’ll take a minute to discuss the logic:  it’s not the judge’s business to make this decision about medicine.  It was Sebelius’s decision, and for once she made the right one.  If she made a stupid one, the people could raise up their voices and protest.  Since it’s now law, the people are stuck.  Gawd, I hate judges. I wish them well personally as human beings, as sons and daughters, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, but I wish that every Democrat judge would leave the bench.

Here’s what you need to know about this drug’s side effects, which range from uncomfortable to “are you out of your ever-loving mind to let a 12 year old, who is still developing hormonally and mentally take this?”:

Minor Side Effects

Minor side effects of the morning after pill may include abdominal pain, breast tenderness, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, headache and nausea.

Menstrual Side Effects

The timing or heaviness of your next period may be affected. Menstruation may be lighter, heavier or delayed after taking the morning after pill.

Serious Side Effects

The morning after pill can change blood sugar levels, which is potentially dangerous to diabetics. Severe abdominal pain is considered a serious side effect and may be an indication of ectopic pregnancy.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancies occur when a fertilized egg attaches outside of the uterus. If the morning after pill fails to prevent pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy is possible.

This drug is a pedophile’s dream — rape your 12-year-old stepdaughter, or niece, or girlfriend’s daughter, or neighbor girl, threaten to kill her or her loved ones if she talks, and to Walgreen’s to buy a pill that hides the evidence.

In California, if you’re under 18, you can’t shoot paint balls without a parent’s consent, nor can you get a fake tan or have your ears pierced.  You can, however, at age 12, with an immature mind and a maturing body, walk into Walgreen’s and order a medicine that has a significant effect on your hormonal system.

Pfui!!

 

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Comments

  1. Libby says

    Remind me again who is waging a war on women? It’s not conservatives who want to make women easier prey to pedophiles and monsters like Kermit Gosnell.
    Stories like this remind me of your excellent American Thinker essay (http://tinyurl.com/2bw9q7b) and how making Plan B readily is right in line with the Left’s quest to rob women (and girls’) sense of autonomy. These people are frightening.
     

  2. says

    “A federal judge in Brooklyn has overruled that, saying it must be sold over-the-counter without limits to help slow teen pregnancy. I’m not going to discuss morality right now.  I’ll take a minute to discuss the logic:  it’s not the judge’s business to make this decision about medicine.  It was Sebelius’s decision, and for once she made the right one. ”
     
    I do not believe this accurately conveys the substance of the Judge Korman’s opinion. First, the opinion, available here, goes on at some length about how it was not in fact Secretary Sebelius’  decision, but rather that of the FDA — it was not, it turns out, Secretary Sebelius’ business to make this decision. 
     
    Moreover Judge Korman did not render this decision “to help slow teen pregnancy” but because the only legally cognizable standard had nothing to do with moral concerns which Judge Korman freely acknowledged. From the opinion:
     
    I pause to add these brief words before I begin the discussion of the legal issues. This case has proven to be particularly controversial because it involves access to emergency contraception for adolescents who should not be engaging in conduct that necessitates the use of such drugs and because of the scientifically unsupported speculation that the drug could interfere with implantation of fertilized eggs. Nevertheless, the issue in this case involves the interpretation of a general statutory and regulatory scheme relating to the approval of drugs for over-the-counter sale. The standards are the same for aspirin and for contraceptives. While the FDA properly recognizes that cognitive and behavioral differences undermine “the ability of adolescents to make reasoned decisions about engaging in sexual intercourse,” the standard for determining whether contraceptives or any other drug should be available over-the-counter turn solely on the ability of the consumer to understand how to use the particular drug “safely and effectively.” Ex. A-4 to Pls.’ 2007 Mot. for Summ. J. at T-31097, Case No. 05-cv-366, Doc. No. 235-5. I decide this case based only on my understanding of the applicable standard.
     
    Might it be that, in this case, you are the one advocating for judicial activism because of your disagreement with the result on extra-legal grounds? Judge Korman stuck to the analysis the law requires, which does not admit of moral judgments about who should be having sex, which for that matter is not the FDA’s bailiwick (nor Secretary Sebelius’) either. Those sorts of moral judgments, it seems to me, should be raised and resolved in the legislative process, and here Congress charged the FDA with evaluating “the ability of the consumer to understand how to use the particular drug ‘safely and effectively,’”  not the advisability of sex at a young age.
     

  3. jj says

    Far too many judges think they can defecate strawberry ice cream, and the rest of the peasants should be grateful to get some of it to eat.  I don’t know why this is, they are demonstrably so often wrong, and ill or even UN-informed on those matters about which they’ve chosen to run their mouths.  This one, Edward Korman, clearly considers himself a superior specimen, and equally clearly isn’t.
     
    Part of this is the immunity that the ball gown grants.  You can be the single dumbest bastard in the history of the American bar, but once you put on the prom dress you become Jesus Christ’s smarter brother – or sister.  Any witless thought that occurs to you is allowed to come straight out of your mouth as quickly as it’s had, and nobody’s allowed to (a) point out that you’re a moron; or (b) slug you in the chops for it.
     
    I think some of this immunity ought to go away.  (Don’t recite to me the reasons why judges are immune to any consequences of what comes out of their mouths.  I know the reasons, I know the theory, and I know why it was done.)  In a case like this one, wherein the judge is opining on matters medical, clearly beyond his competence, with potential medical consequences about which he knows nothing, that blanket immunity ought perhaps to be relaxed.  The argument will be made: “well, the judge wasn’t opining on a medical matter, he was opining purely in the legal arena that the medicine should be available to all.  Period.”  Well, excuse me, but I’m not buying that one.  There is no way to separate out the legal and medical arenas in this one, and if the “purely legal” reasoning (if “reasoning” applies, I haven’t read him yet) has a serious medical consequence for someone, then – in my opinion – you don’t get to hide behind that, judge.  And if your “reasoning” kills someone’s kid, then that someone should be allowed to have a clear shot at making certain you live out your life in the penury you deserve, judge -  just like anybody else on the wrong end of a large suit.
     
    Worth thinking about.  Judges have their noses into far too many areas where they have no right already -  maybe it’s time to rethink some of it.  

  4. says

    Richard Johnson, you are correct that the actual opinion is more nuanced than the original AP story reported.  The judge was making a ruling about a procedural, and turf, battle within the government.  I’ll take the onus away from him and blame the Obama administration and the Left for even thinking it would ever be appropriate to make this type of stuff available over the counter to 12-year-olds.  The same rules that apply to porn (which must be kept out of minor’s sight), or to alcohol, or tobacco, can and should be applied to these toxic pills.

  5. says

    Not to mention that said 12-y.o. would be subject to suspension and/or expulsion for sharing an aspirin or an inhaler with a classmate.  Yet these 12-y.o.s can understand how to use the particular drug “safely and effectively.”  And buy said drug on their way home from school.  (My classmates and I used to stop at the local drugstore to buy penny candy, comic books, and the latest issue of “Tiger Beat”!)
    Hmmm….  A bit of cognitive dissonance on the part of the “adults” in the judiciary, HHS, and the FDA?
     
     

  6. says

     I appreciate your forthrightness. Couple of thoughts:
     
    First, I don’t think you can necessarily pin this one on the Obama Administration. Secretary Sebelius, after all, issued the order which was reversed here, so it is difficult to attribute to her a judgment that “it would ever be appropriate to make this type of stuff available over the counter to 12-year-olds.” Indeed the OP allowed this decision was one of her “rare moments of good sense.” I think you are left with a grievance against “the Left.”
     
    Second, I would hope this causes some contemplation, on your part and others’, of the instinctive and, I might add, apparently knee-jerk criticism of judges whenever a decision comes down that does not comport with one’s policy preferences. I practice in ERISA law, and I have seen plenty of judges who have had to rule against my clients because of the absurdities built into the law, and they do so nonetheless all the while acknowledging the injustice they are compelled by the law to commit. But they conclude they are bound by the law, and so do I once my legal argument that the law does not lead to the result they are imposing is defeated. I believe we would all benefit from presuming at least a smidgen of good faith in our political adversaries, and in judges too.  
     
    Finally, I concur with you about how absurd it is to allow drugs like this to be sold over the counter to minors. I suspect Judge Korman might agree with you too, on a policy level. But, as he recognized, it that question is not for him to decide. 

  7. lee says

    I am not sure twelve–or fourteen or sixteen year olds, much less ten year olds, for that matter–should be buying aspirin, prilosec, benadryl, ipecac, no-doz, nyquil, dramamin or a whole slew of other over-the-counter medication.
     
    When I was a kid, it would never in a million years have occured to me to buy any of that stuff myself. And I KNOW, Mr. Bennett, who owned the drugstore in the little Mayberry in which I grew up, would’ve called my mom to find out if it was okay for me to buy whatever. Now, by the time I was sixteen, and had a license to drive, I was running errands for my folks, which frequently included picking stuff up at the store, including various over-the-counter medications. (And Mr. Bennett had sold his store.)
     
     

  8. says

    Sebelius did do the right thing, as I acknowledged in my article.  It is, though, Obama’s FDA, because he’s the top of the executive heap.  It’s also Obama’s America, because, as leader of both the executive office and the Senate, not to mention his propaganda arm in the media, he and his friends set the tone in this nation.  After all, I don’t think anyone can doubt that they used abortion (with the attacks on Akins, a man nobody liked anyway) to help retake the White House.

    As for judges, it’s not reflexive.  I’m been a litigator for more than 25 years, working in some of the most liberal counties in America.  While there are definitely some judges I like and respect, especially the ones I know personally and haven’t had to deal with in the courtroom, I really do not respect judges.  In the San Francisco Bay Area, the vast majority of them are Progressive ideologues who will always put their politics ahead of the law.

  9. says

    Seems a bit stingy to blame President Obama for what “his” FDA did but give him no credit for what “his” HHS Secretary did.
     
    As for the judges, I have nothing more to offer, other than that I sure wish my experience in court matched yours, because all these liberal judges’ politics, allowed free rein, would tend to make them rule in favor of my clients more often. Yet…

  10. Mike Devx says

    The morning after pill is not designed to prevent conception.  It’s designed to prevent the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall.  Conception almost always occurs within a half hour after sex.  By definition, a “morning after” pill won’t prevent THAT.
     
    If you believe a fertilized egg should be given all, or most, human rights, you will object to the use of this drug, and based on principles of human rights, you would logically seek to ban it.  IF you don’t believe a fertilized egg should be granted all or most human rights, you will tend to accept the use of this drug.  The risk of ectopic pregnancy apparently exists; the assumption of that risk is the choice of an individual based on personal evaluation of that risk, just as with ALL individual decisions where there is risk.
     
    I understand opposing ANY form of contraception based on moral or religious grounds.  But if abortion is legal and allowed, then to me it is entirely logically consistent to allow the morning after pill as well.  In fact it would appear completely logically inconsistent to allow abortion but not allow the use of the morning after pill.  (Note that there are, of course, medical risks associated with abortion as well.)
     
    I never want the government to pass laws just because it’s “a good idea”.  Constraints on individual liberty must require compelling government interest that overrides individual liberty, else the government should butt out.  That’s my libertarian philosophical core speaking.  I do think there are cases where the government can enforce moral standards; whether this is one of those I think depends on your position regarding conception, as I mentioned above.
     
    So my personal opinion would be no surprise: I do not want to grant a fertilized egg all or most legal human rights, so I am in favor of use of the morning after pill.  Specifically on the matter of teenagers: In *all* matters of contraception, I would grant parents the authority to allow or disallow access by teenagers.  Leave it to the parents, always. 
     

  11. SADIE says

     
    “You can, however, at age 12, with an immature mind and a maturing body, walk into Walgreen’s and order a medicine that has a significant effect on your hormonal system.”
     
    Morning after pills…as opposed to “night before” sexual encounters. What the hell happened to childhood?

  12. wbkrebs says

    For whatever it’s worth, here’s the full list of frequently occurring adverse events, from the Plan B package labeling:
     

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    Most Common                                                                        Plan B ® Levonorgestrel
    Adverse Events                                                                      N=977 (%)

     
    Nausea                                                                                     23.1
    Abdominal Pain                                                                      17.6
    Fatigue                                                                                     16.9
    Headache                                                                                 16.8
    Heavier Menstrual Bleeding                                                 13.8
    Lighter Menstrual Bleeding                                                  12.5
    Dizziness                                                                                  11.2
    Breast Tenderness                                                                 10.7
    Other complaints                                                                    9.7
    Vomiting                                                                                  5.6
    Diarrhea                                                                                   5.0
     

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