News from NOW-NYS
For more information contact: Marcia Pappas, 518-452-3944
Obama Abandons Young Women's Reproductive Health Care
Women Take Another Hit
ALBANY, NY (12/08/2011)(readMedia)-- Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal. President Obama has inserted himself into and reversed a wonderful, educated decision made by the Food and Drug Administration. He has allowed the Health and Human Services Secretary to overrule the FDA's recommendation to make the "morning after pill" (Plan B One-Step) available over the counter to women of all ages. Plan B taken within seventy-two hours of intercourse can cut the chances of unwanted pregnancy by eighty-nine percent, and works best if taken within twenty-four hours.
NOW-NYS President Marcia Pappas commented: "Seldom in many years has the FDA done the right thing by women's reproductive rights. They finally did something responsible and Obama has negated it."
Pappas explained that FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg made clear Obama's decision was "highly unusual." Hamburg said her agency's drug-safety experts had carefully considered the question of young girls and agreed that Plan B's age limit should be lifted.
Pappas said that Obama's decision greatly pleased conservative critics. She added "Furthermore, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association have long pushed for over-the-counter Plan B access as an excellent way to reduce unwanted pregnancies and are shocked at Obama's interference with the FDA's decision."
Obama's brief remarks on the subject were that he thinks "most parents would agree with his decision." Pappas said "Obama is obviously unaware of the many teenagers like Becky Bell of Indiana who are dying of back street abortions because they are unable to obtain birth control, morning-after or otherwise."
Former NOW-NYS President Marilyn Fitterman remarked: "These past three years, women and young college students who elected Obama have tried to stand by him. Many have hushed the fact that his promised support was sorely lacking. And now, with this greatest betrayal, we've been repaid for our loyalty by his abandoning us on this very important issue."
Pappas concluded: "If Obama thinks this will win over the vote of the progressives in this country, he is sadly mistaken." Pappas said she is being asked if she were surprised that Obama has betrayed women. She said women should not be surprised because as a state senator in Illinois, he had voted "present" seven times when he could and should have taken a stand in favor of women's reproductive health. I am just happy I never voted for him. Unless he reverses this position, NOW-NYS will urge women and men not to go to the polls on election day."