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‘Plan B’ decision puts pro-life groups, bloggers in an unfamiliar position
December 9th, 2011
04:21 AM ET

‘Plan B’ decision puts pro-life groups, bloggers in an unfamiliar position

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.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Abortion • Politics • Sex

soundoff (793 Responses)
  1. Anne Swanson

    Why is a murderer charged with double manslaughter if he kills a pregnant woman who is only two weeks along?!........oh.....and hahaha, TomTom and HotAirAce!

    December 9, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Snow

      why isn't a mother who has miscarriage charged with murder of their unborn child.. um.. hahaha..

      See, I can make dumb arguments at your level too..

      December 9, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Because, you idiot, no one ELSE has the right to choose FOR her. I don't have the right to harm someone else's fetus for the same reason you don't have the right to prevent me from having an abortion-because it's NOT YOUR CHOICE.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Temper Tantrum Tommie Tom Tom, your post has been reported for abuse. From now on, every single post you make calling someone a name or ridiculing another will be reported to CNN.

      Happy Commenting!

      Amen.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gee, I'm devastated.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      If the same rule (no name calling) is applied to HeavenScent, CNN's data storage requirements will be cut in half.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ha, Ace. HS just called me a "retired pros ti tute". I wonder how CNN views that?

      December 9, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  2. Snow

    Anne, if you really are a woman, you are disgrace to the gender. you want to be stripped away the full and fundamental rights from woman and make them a baby making machines living 24/7 under the thumbs of their husbands, then it is time for you change your god and become a mormon.. I hear they support all the great things you keep stolling away here..

    December 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  3. fred

    Anne Swanson does not see the REPLY button. I have changed my mind and vote that ANNE uses contraception at all times. If that fails I will pay for Plan B for her

    December 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  4. Anne Swanson

    Andy, what do you believe? What do you live for? Where will you go when you die?

    December 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What possible relevance do those queries have to this subject?

      December 9, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  5. fred

    Anne Swanson see that REPLY button pretend it is TOM TOM and hit it then type.

    December 9, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  6. Anne Swanson

    Ted, they're no longer my cells. They are there own dna!

    December 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's "THEIR own dna". Sheesh. And you think you're qualified to tell others anything regarding law, science, or medicine? Please.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • fred

      There there now Tom settle down the're not theirs.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      ANother idiot farts his ignorance.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  7. Anne Swanson

    No one has answered me why a fetus has no rights unless the mother wants it?! And then it has the same protection as any other citizen!

    December 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Because a fetus cannot have equal rights when it is unable to survive outside the uterus. Because a woman's rights would automatically be abrogated the moment she became pregnant. Because a fetus is not equal to someone born. Because the Consti tution does not guarantee rights to a clump of cells.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  8. fred

    Ann see the REPLY TAG that is plan A otherwise we go to plan B. Plan B was necessary because plan A used by the liberals and atheists that reject God and all religion had a program called SAFE $EX. Safe $ex made all our children think it was now safe to have $ex any way anytime with any body. Before that those backward christians and right wing republicans called it sin. We have come a long way and pat ourselves on the back for our progressive minds. Unfortunatley we now must move onto PLAN B. It was not safe we lied, but thanks for your votes and all that cash.

    December 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Andy Anderson

      Haha, that 'abstinence only' education thing not really working out for you, is it?

      December 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • fred

      Thank God none of those plans worked or I would not be here.............I think that is a good thing?

      December 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  9. poopmeister

    I won't speak of the possible dangers associated with the drug, because I simply do not know, I never researched it. Besides that fact and the fact that I'm a buddhist that does not believe in killing anything, I really don't see the harm in taking the morning after pill. As long as it was not being taken on a regular basis as a form of birth control instead of taking other preferable precautions. If a woman takes it because of a stupid mistake and essentially making a bigger mistake by having a baby when she isn't ready, who would have the right to lecture her? I never understand conservatives; first they are so hard up on this type of stuff, yet they squak when liberals look for gun control? I'm pretty sure a legal gun carrying citizen could be more damaging to society then a woman taking a morning after pill. I'm an individual that does have carry permit but I would be more willing to hand over a morning after pill to a woman, then to hand over my gun.

    December 9, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Julnor

      You miss the point. The issue isn't whether Plan B should be legal. The issue is whether or not minors can just go into a drug store and get it. This is not a health debate or an abortion debate, it is a parental rights debate.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      Since it costs 50.00 I doubt it will be used as a form of bc.

      December 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  10. Anne Swanson

    But, TomTom! We are talking about living or dying here!!! Without the right to life, NO OTHER rights matter!

    December 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, we aren't. You might be, but you're nuts. Women have the right to decide what they will do. If you don't like it, I suggest you move somewhere else where women have no rights.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Tom, old pal, "No, we aren't. You might be, but you're nuts." is the funniest think I've read in a while!! It should become a Belief Blog Classic. Way funnier than CA's dated LBJ line. I just hope Anne can appreciate it – that it didn't just fly over her head.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Andy Anderson

      ^ Tom Tom's reply is how you deal with stupid Christians making hysterical claims.

      Reality has a liberal bias.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thanks. I'm sure my little shadow will be along any time now to whine about it.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  11. Anne Swanson

    TomTom! That is exactly what neighbors to the prison camps said during Hitlers reign of terror! "It's none of my business"!

    December 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, the drama. There is no murder or genocide being committed here and you know it, unless you're delusional. If you don't know the difference between murder and abortion, then I suggest you read a law book instead of your Bible. One applies to all who live here; the other applies only to those who believe in its tenets.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  12. Anne Swanson

    HotAirAce! I'm not taking your money!

    December 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  13. Anne Swanson

    I wonder if life begins at 18??.......hmmmmm.......maybe?

    December 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • gupsphoo

      According to your own Bible, life begins at the first breath (Ezekiel 37:5&6).

      December 9, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What matters is not when life begins but when rights do. And they don't begin when an egg is fertilized.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  14. Anne Swanson

    Liberals always get backed into a corner, and when they do they resort to immature personal attacks.......sad

    December 9, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • gupsphoo

      I hope you realize this is nothing but ad hominem.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  15. Anne Swanson

    LOVE is a choice!! If we were forced to follow Him, it would NOT be love!! Free will is a beautiful gift, but whose glory will we use it for? Our own?(Self-destructive) or His? If the world all followed and LIVED the ten commandments, the world would be a perfect place!

    December 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Tedd

      Okay, you're clearly nuts.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Snow

      Right.. so your god said, "Here.. take freewill and you can do whatever you want. But, don't do anything except praising me and sucking up to me. Only then you will be allowed to exist. Otherwise you burn in hell.. "

      Ah. Now I understand what a "good god" he is..

      December 9, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Andy Anderson

      Since all aborted fetuses go straight to heaven instead of to hell, really the most moral thing to do is encourage abortions.

      Unless Ann's lame "free will" argument is just an attempt to give more people a chance to be born, grow up, decide they don't believe the silly nonsense she does, and then get tortured forever after they die by her god.

      Pretty messed up belief system, isn't it?

      December 9, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  16. Anne Swanson

    The poiint is, Gupsphoo, wether a woman believes it or not, a human life is ending at her hands; and just because the law allows it, does NOT make it morally right!......... If it's not a human life, then why abort it?!

    December 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • gupsphoo

      A fertilized egg is just a cluster of cells with no brain to think and no nervous system to feel. If you define that as 'life', you must admit you're a murder every time you take a bath, because you're killing millions of cells.

      December 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Tedd

      I've called the Police and they're on their way to arrest Anne Swanson for killing the cells of her own body – A capital crime in every state.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Fuyuko

      When you have your period you lose an egg. Is that murder? Its a cell afterall. Come on now. Lose common sense.

      December 10, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  17. Anne Swanson

    I don't disagree with you, HotAirAce! I beieve ALL leaders should be held to their claimed beliefs! But as for the justices, there haven't been any "pro-life/pro-choice" brought before them to vote on! As for no term limit, I agree! Its the one branch of government that really has no check or balances!

    December 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Are any of the justices that voted for Roe v Wade still on the bench or even alive? If they are and they are members of your cult, you can seek their excommunication! Don't wimp out! Quit blaming others (such as a small number of atheists!) and take action to hold your fellow believers accountable! I bet you don't have the guts!!

      December 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  18. Anne Swanson

    Do you realize how many women don't realize it's abortifacient possibilities?!?! There are a LOT of women who believe life begins at conception and are astounded by this fact! Why don't the pharmaceutical companies warn women that there might be a possibility of this?? Knowledge is power, right? And I don't think that anyone would disagree with an "informed choice".

    December 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • gupsphoo

      For women who believe life begins at conception, they have their choice not to take the pill.

      For women who don't believe that crap, let them have their choice too.

      Fair enough?

      December 9, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      It is not up to a corporation to propagate any cult's beliefs. That is what each cult's shamans are for. Believers should not expect goverments or corporations to hold their members in check – believers should accept personal responsibility and ask why there god allows them to do things against their god's (alledged) will.

      December 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • George

      @gup

      For people who believe that murder is wrong let them choose not to murder. For the others, let them choose.

      December 9, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • gupsphoo

      @George – we're talking about one specific issue here. If you think getting rid of a fertilized egg is equivalent to murder, I'd love to hear your case.

      December 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The morning after pill is does not cause an abortion. And even if it did, what of it? Abortion is a legal. It is also none of your business.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Murder is a legal term, George. Murder is illegal; abortion is legal. Abortion isn't murder; it's never been considered murder under the law.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • George

      My argument is simple: A fertilized egg is a human life. You kill a fertilized egg, you commit murder.

      Now I know that, to you, a fertilized egg is not a human life. And that is the problem. It just shows how far America has slipped. Ask an evangelical Christian or a Catholic whether a fertilized egg is a human life. This is why we need to vote your kind out of government.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • gupsphoo

      @George – Please give evidence that the Bible says human life begins when an egg is fertilized.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • George

      Ok.Simply replace the word "murder" with "kill". It doesn't change the argument.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then you definitely shouldn't take the morning-after pill, George.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • gupsphoo

      So so I don't hold the same religious beliefs as you do and I deserve to be voted out the government.

      Well thanks for being honest. lol

      December 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Murder is illegal killing. Abortion is not illegal. It is not murder. Your opinion is not relevant. The law is.

      You should definitely not have an abortion if you think it's wrong, George. Don't get pregnant, either. The gene pool is already polluted enough.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • George

      While it doesn't say it explicitly, munch on these:

      Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalm 139 13,16

      December 9, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • George

      Because Christians believe that it is a taking of a human life, we want to make it illegal. This is precisely why we need to elect conservative Christians to office.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not gonna happen, George, no matter whom you try to get into office. The conservatives have no intention of overturning R v W; you're just too dumb to realize that they use it to get your vote. They've had over 3 decades to try and it's still in force.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If "Christians believe it's the taking of a human life", then why are the majority of women who have abortions Christian? Why are millions of Christians pro-choice?

      December 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If "Christians believe it's the taking of a human life", then why are the majority of women who have abortions Christian? Why are millions of Christians pro-cho ice?

      December 9, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Snow

      Ok George, Lets analyze your statement "A fertilized egg is a human life. You kill a fertilized egg, you commit murder."

      Ever heard of this pesky law called Inventory manslaughter that the police can throw you in jail for a little bit of time even if you do it by mistake??

      Do think when a mother has a miscarriage, she should be locked up in jail for that too? Coz she sure does not mean to have a miscarriage and yet she causes the death of someone inside her.. according to you, she commits a murder of a human being and should be punished..

      Doesn't that seem idiotic? to you , I don't know. but others, it does seem a bit idiotic..

      December 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Snow

      @george, "This is precisely why we need to elect conservative Christians to office." How much help did your conservative bubba Bush did for ya?

      December 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Tedd

      I'm sending the police over to your house, george. You are guilty of murder for killing me with your stupidity.

      If killing some cells before they can feel anything is murder, then I guess you'd better confess when the cops show up for producing and killing billions of sperm cells. You chose to let those sperm cells go and most of them died without continuing the chain of life. Life doesn't begin at conception. Conception is just when two separate lives come together to blend DNA using a living egg and a living sperm.
      When you kill those sperms, you killed something that was human life in the making. We'd better have you executed, you mass murderer!!

      December 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  19. Anne Swanson

    A choice they often regret! Most women who've had an abortion felt they had no other choice and regret it! I have NEVER met a mother who wishes she had killed her baby!

    December 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • gupsphoo

      Please justify your claim with evidence that women will regret after taking a morning after pill.

      December 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No one is "killing babies". A very large study was done recently that showed women who'd had abortions were no more likely to suffer depression or other mental illness than those who didn't have an abortion.

      Some women regret having had an abortion. So? Some women regret getting married. Some women regret working full time while raising children; some regret not doing so.

      Really, all choices we make involve regret as a possibility.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'd love to see that, too, gup. I doubt seriously that ANY woman who takes this pill after having unprotected s3x has any "regrets" at all. Why would she? She wasn't pregnant when she took it and she won't be pregnant after she took it. Big deal.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • parker81

      That's also not backed up by any evidence Anne. The reality is most women who have an abortion feel guiltier for NOT feeling guilty than they do the actual act. And what makes you believe you have a right to tell me what to do with an organ in my own body? Can I tell you what to do with your stomach? Or your heart? What about your right leg? You can no longer do anything with your right leg unless I tell you you can.

      Just because I CAN carry a baby in my uterus doesn't mean I MUST. It also doesn't mean you get to tell me what to do with said organ or said child. If it was alive, outside my body I'd be expected to make the best decisions for it for the next 18 years. Why can't I make that decision before its even a child? Why CAN'T I decide I don't want children?
      Here's a fun page for you:
      http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html
      Abortion is a decision best made between a woman and her God. There are good women out there who have to make difficult choices in their lives. Its none of your business what they do, and it has zero effect on your life. Try and have a little compassion rather than spew vitriol on a topic you obviously know nothing about beyond your misguided fanaticism.

      December 10, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  20. Anne Swanson

    Brent, if we don't have life, what does liberty and the pursuit of happiness mean?!

    December 9, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • gupsphoo

      So giving women choice will lead to a planet with no human life? That's completely asinine.

      December 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • gupsphoo

      But thanks for revealing the absurd mentality of a religious zealot.

      December 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Brent

      Strawman argument, but a very powerful one. I don't need to respond to it, though, because you've already created the assumption that my stance is one that leads to the absence of life; I just need to dispute its underlying assumption. Realistically, a zygote which has not implanted itself in the uterus has absolutely zero viability and, therefore, cannot be defined as life.

      December 9, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.