December 9th, 2011
04:21 AM ET
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – The decision by Kathleen Sebelius to keep age restrictions on the purchase of the “morning after pill” puts some conservative religious groups in an unfamiliar position – endorsing a move by the Obama administration.
Groups like the Family Research Council, who regularly find themselves on the opposite end of decisions made by the Obama administration, came out in support of the administration and in particular, Sebelius, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was right to reject the FDA recommendation to make this potent drug available over the counter to young girls,” stated a release by the pro-life Family Research Council.
In an interview with CNN’s John King, Jeanne Monahan of the Family Research Council addressed the fact that this was an unfamiliar position for the group.
“It is a great pleasure to be able to say congratulations Secretary Sebelius,” said Monahan. “I think you made a decision that was in the best interest of young women’s health,” said Monahan as if she was speaking directly to Sebelius.
President Obama told reporters Thursday that he “did not get involved in the process,” but that he supports the decision.
“As the father of two daughters,” Obama said. “I think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine.”
"The reason Kathleen made this decision was she could not be confident that a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old go into a drugstore, should be able - alongside bubble gum or batteries - be able to buy a medication that potentially, if not used properly, could end up having an adverse effect,” he continued.
In commending Sebelius, many pro-life groups also pressed the Obama administration for more.
“The pro-life movement welcomes Sebelius’ decision, and hopes that HHS will revisit the question of whether Plan B should be available over the counter to anyone,” wrote the Pro-Life Action League in a post on their website.
Pro-life bloggers, while welcoming the unexpected decision, also kept a stead dose of skepticism as to why this decision went their way.
“I try to make a habit out of not criticizing good decisions, even when they are made by untrustworthy people for bad motives,” wrote Thomas Peters at CatholicsVote.org. “So good job, Sebelius, you got one right. Now can we go for two?”
In reversing the recommendations of the FDA, which recommend allowing Plan B to be sold over the counter, Sebelius did not reject the idea of over the counter birth control, a step many anti-abortion bloggers wanted.
Instead, Sebelius cited “label comprehension” as one reason for the reversal.
“Whatever the reason for her decision,” wrote Chelsea Zimmerman at the blog Catholic Lane. “It was certainly the right one.”
Not everyone, however, was patting the secretary on the back.
"It is surely not a scientific decision," says Susan Wood, who resigned as the FDA’s Director of the Office of Women's Health in 2005 in protest to the restrictions on Plan B supported by the Bush administration. "The secretary's rationale is very similar to the one used in the previous administration to block Plan B from going over-the-counter. It is not supported by data."
CNN’s Brianna Keilar contributed to this report.
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