One can almost hear the pseudo -moralists and their zombie religious zealot backers howling after U.S. District Court Judge Edward Korman of New York issued a ruling yesterday in which reason and sanity triumphed.
In a scathing rebuke Korman blasted the Obama administration for playing expedient election year politics for imposing age limits on the morning after pill. In his own parlance, he called it "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable" and thereby ordered an end to the restrictions within 30 days. Of course, the Obama DOJ could appeal this ruling, and they are even considering it, but they'd be wise not to - just as they'd be wise not to challenge the Colorado and Washington state laws approving recreational use of marijuana - in the case of Colorado, approving it under the banner of the state's own Constitution.
The ruling for no age restrictions is sensible and sane, given that - despite the witless fundies' and many Americans' naïve beliefs- kids are having unprotected sex at younger and younger ages. I mean, in a rational country like The Netherlands (where condoms are handed out from age nine in sex ed classes) this wouldn't even be a biggie. But it is in the US of A, because we are so backward - especially in terms of sex and sex education. The sad fact? Most 'Muricans, dumbed down by FAUX News and the consumer culture, are in total denial about minors having sex. They'd rather believe in the fairy tales that the parent can tell them "Just say NO!" and they will heel to like pups.
The Judge's ruling will also mean young girls who have been taken advantage of have a ready means of stopping a potential pregnancy, and hence a lot of grief. Of course, the screech monkey fundies will claim it's "abortion" but in fact since it merely halts fertilization, it is birth control - not abortion. Never mind, they will yelp and scream like stuck pigs and insist the morning after pill is an "abortifacent". Bullshit!
If this court order stands, and I believe it will, then Plan -B One Step and its generic versions will move from behind pharmacy counters out to drugstore shelves - ending a decade-plus struggle by women's groups for easier access to these critical pills which can prevent pregnancy if taken soon enough after any unprotected sex, or rape, or incest. (Another reason why it's good to have no age limits, so a young female doesn't have to confront her potential parent predator for "permission"!)
As the ruling news circulated, women's groups hailed the ruling, even as the Right's moralists began whining and crying. In the words of Dr. Susan Wood, who resigned as the FDA's health chief in 2005, to protest the Bush administration's foot dragging over Plan B:
"It has been clear for a long time that the medical and scientific community think this should be fully over the counter and is safe for women of all ages to use."
Given that half the nation's pregnancies each year are accidental or unintended, and exact billions of extras dollars of costs, in health services etc. this is a point to bear in mind.
Meanwhile, Obama and his administration need to at least demonstrate common sense here (by mounting no appeals) , even if they don't in other areas, such as the upcoming budget, and getting the hell out of Afghanistan sooner than later!