‘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. George

    God said let their be light in the Bible and I believe in it. It wasn't just talking about light from the sun or light bulbs, but light as in the salt of the earth, or us, Christians. We are to represent the light of the lamb and spread the word of Jesus. You know how I know the Bible is 100% accurate? The Bible Codes. You people have no idea what the Lord's plan is because you ignore the morality the Bible tells you about.


    The codes are prophecies in the Bible that prove it is real. No one can dispute it. This proves that the Bible was given to us by God Himself to save us. Only a fool would ignore this truth. Just look around. The world is proof of God that Jesus saved us.

    December 9, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The Bible isn't law.

      December 9, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • George

      It's Gods law and Gods laws are above mans laws.

      December 9, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Only to you. No one else is required to adhere to them. If you have a problem with that, you can ask God to smite me.

      December 9, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • Oh please

      I dispute it.

      December 9, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So do I.

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

    By your logic, TomTom, it was ok for Hitler to kill the Jews because he was not "murdering" them.

    December 9, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hardly. They were people, not fetuses.

      December 9, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  3. Anne Swanson

    You attack my credibilty because you have no facts to back up anything you have said, TomTom!! Don't be nasty! To me that says that I have backed you into a corner and you have to attack me personally to somehow bring me down! And as for being concerned about women, I am convinced that Nothing hurts a woman more than an abortion. There is no more powerful force on earth than a mother's love; and to rob her of that is a crime!

    December 9, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your convictions are not facts. Provide proof from a credible source that your claims about abortion are true.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      So someone held a gun to the 780,000+ christian women that have an abortion each year in t USA?

      December 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Speaking of a "mother's love" as a force to be reckoned with, how do you account for Susan Smith? How do you explain the newborns dumped in trash cans?

      December 9, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Jesus

      Susan Smith? Her kids? Oh, they were just a clump of cells.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, they weren't. They were children. They were born, living, and had the rights guaranteed by the Const itution. That is why Susan Smith was convicted of murder.

      Fetuses do not have those same rights.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Jesus

      I'm just playing devil's advocate here. The truth is, we are all nothing more than clumps of cells. Some more organized and developed. But really, that's about it. Opinions are what create laws, although we've come a long way as society has matured. Some factual information can be used to generate them, but it's pretty messed up that someone came along and decided that some life is worth keeping and some is ok to toss in a dumpster. I'm not for or against abortion. It has no bearing on my life and never will. But the decision-making process that went into the laws had to be a bit warped to come to the conclusion that "some life just isn't worth the effort." Ironic that the same government that enforces these laws has difficulty allowing assisted suicide, or if we want to go to extremes, killing natural selection. Hospitals by law have to try to keep people alive. Man with no arms or legs wants to die? NO! KEEP HIM ALIVE! What do you want to do with that fetus? Eh, throw it in the dumpster. My point is that the laws aren't exactly in line with one another.

      December 9, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, if you're being honest, Jes, fine. I agree. I think assisted suicide should be legal. I think people should not be forced to endure pain and suffering against their will.

      I also know that hospitals, doctors, and nursing homes routinely practice assisted suicide under the guise of easing pain, and it's a crying shame they are forced to break the law in secret to help those who have intractable illnesses.

      December 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  4. Anne Swanson

    Government allowed slavery!!!! Would you have also defended THAT when it was legal!!!

    December 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nope. Slaves were obviously born people. The laws allowing slavery were wrong; that's why slavery was abolished.

      The day you show that a woman is a lesser being than the fetus she is carrying, alert the media.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • George


      abortion IS murder. Where is your morality?

      December 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      George, you can bellow in letters two inches high and it won't make a whit of difference. "Murder" is a legal term. It means "unlawful killing". Abortion is not unlawful. It has never been considered murder under the law. What your beliefs or your Bible say about it is irrelevant. No one is required to live by your Bible's tenets or your beliefs. We are required to live by the laws of the nation.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • George

      You mean the laws of pagans and sinners. This is why the end times are near. These are the signs. When abortion is legal, morality is gone. Killing babies is killing babies. No way around it. Period!

      December 9, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son


      December 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  5. Anne Swanson

    Since when is murder solely a religious issue. ALL civilizations have condemned murder to some degree!

    December 9, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, no, they haven't. However, that's beside the point. Abortion is not murder. It wasn't even considered murder when it was illegal. It's not murder now. Murder is illegal killing. Abortion isn't illegal. Fetuses do not have the rights those born do.

      Don't like it? I suggest you find a way to transplant unwanted fetuses into the uteruses of women who want them. Otherwise, it's not your decision as to what to do with them.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  6. Anne Swanson

    TomTom and Hotair, I'm really sorry but I don't have a highlighted "reply"! This blackberry's lame! Sorry. As far as hypocrisy, even if Christians do have a "horrible" past; that doesn't mean that we can't be right about this!! That is so illogical!!

    December 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Doesn't matter if they're right or wrong. They don't get to decide what others do with their bodies or the contents thereof.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  7. justathought

    Folks – take a second and a breathe – and remember....
    RELIGION is like a PENIS – it is fine to have one! it's fine to proud of it!...BUT please do not whip it out in public and start waving it around, and PLEASE do not try to shove it down my children's throats...LEAVE it at home and keep it to your self...Religion and its followers have KILLED more people than any plague or wars combined....

    December 9, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • fred

      Check the numbers and you will see the atheists also killed millions in the name of the godless. Religion is not problem man is the problem and man will use religion, God or the godless to do evil

      December 9, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I agree with you. Religion is undoubtedly the most common means used throughout history to goad the common man into acts of violence, but those who wish to instigate will use whatever tools are at their disposal.
      Anything that can be used to divide people, has been used.
      This has been recognized by smart people for thousands of years. I believe that the story of the Tower of Babel is an attempt to explain the source of this ubiquitous strife amongst tribes of humans.
      Tribalism and it's twin moral relativism are inevitable amongst groups of humans who have adapted differently to different environments. The fear of the unfamiliar can easily be twisted into xenophobia and from there, it's an easy step to convince The People that The Enemy must be eliminated.
      In the words of Dr. Greg Graffin:
      "Ignorance is the root of fear
      And fear is the kindling of anger
      War is the bringer of shame
      But never has the burden lain so heavily upon the victim
      Rage and desolation
      Pain and loneliness
      Isn't it all a little alarmingly familiar?"

      The old testament God rules through fear. The book is replete with tales of divine wrath and smitey vengeance.
      That one book has fuelled sectarian violence amongst it's offshoots for thousands of years.
      But the books and their interpreters are losing their power.
      For a while, religion was removed from the enemy as the two great global SuperPowers fought an indefinite war of economic ideology. But all good things must come to an end and after a handful of decades, Capitalism was declared the winner.
      What is the dominant global empire to do?'
      Those who had orchestrated the grand, last era of the Cold War had a few ideas, which they formalized in The Plan For A New American Century (PNAC).
      Their primary purpose was to "increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities" and instigate a "pax americana".
      Having the Commie scapegoat justified untold Pentagon expenditures on armaments and other militaristic pursuits for ages – but the commies were vanquished – and even towards the end of the Commie venture, rationalizations like "dual-purpose technology" – or tech that could both guide missiles and later your car – were needed to try and convince the public that war is good business.
      After all, World War II pulled America out of the Great Depression – find a good enough enemy and it can keep on going!
      Not long after, a real enemy presented itself. One that was de-centralized, of potentially global reach, ideologically opposed to the core principles of the US elite and sits on the greatest reservoir of the fuel of 100 years of unmitigated progress.

      Fear, scapegoating, anesthetization and distraction are the tools of statecraft.
      Beware that which seeks to make you complacent or obsequious.
      If faith is a part of your life, remember that it can move mountains, or blow them up.
      But in the end, responsibility lies with each of us, individually.
      Peace, society, culture, law, morality – these things only exist as exemplified in the actions of responsible individuals.
      And remember always that your enemy is never a villain in their own eyes.
      Keep this in mind and it may offer you way to make friends.

      (Doc V. is feeling preachy tonight and may have had one too many Molsons)

      December 9, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Doc, you are the best.

      December 9, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Oh, and I'd like to offer a pre-emptive STFU to Captain America.
      Get a new hobby, troll.

      December 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  8. Anne Swanson

    Well I hope his anger doesn't cloud his ability to see truth.

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

      Anne Swanson look right under this line and see the "REPLY" word highlighted and bold? If you want to respond to me click that first then add you comment.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  9. Anne Swanson

    HotAir, I'm sorry. I don't see a reply option on this format.

    December 9, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  10. Anne Swanson

    HotAir!!!!! That doesn't make it right!!!!! That's a pathetic argument for your case!t

    December 9, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I didn't say it is right! I'm saying abortion is largely a believer problem and that they should get their part cleaned up before telling anyone else what to do. If believers cut their abortions in half they'd be a lot more credible. At this time, they're collectively hypocrites.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  11. Anne Swanson

    Thank you Heaven sent! Hate speech, anyone?!

    December 9, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you're interested in hate speech? HeavenSent's your gal, all right. Although I doubt that's really her post; it's a troll.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  12. Anne Swanson

    Because I disagree with you, I'm an idiot. I don't think you're an idiot; i think you're mislead. 🙁

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

      You can think whatever you want. What you cannot do is force me or anyone else to live life according to your beliefs.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Jesus

      No. But the government does. And you comply like a good little sheep.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, and by the way, you're not an idiot because you disagree with me. You're an idiot because you have no credible facts to back up what you say and you are under the misapprehension that your beliefs enti t le you to tell others how to run their lives when you can barely write a simple sentence without glaring errors in grammar and in reason. It is arrogant of you to think that you know what is best for someone else you've never met when you haven't even availed yourself of a decent education or demonstrated the slightest concern for the lives of the women you are castigating.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jesus, what are you gassing on about?

      December 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Jesus

      You do as you're told because the government tells you to do it. You act as though you have some kind of individuality. But in reality you do not. You aren't any better than any of us. You don't have more choices than any of us. Get off your high horse.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What "high horse"? What do I do because the government tells me to do it?

      December 9, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Jesus

      You're sitting here preaching "it's the law" as though the law is your own personal bible. Your opinion is nothing more than opinion. Please stop trying to force all of it off as fact. Everyone here has an opinion. They're enti-tled to it just as you are. There's no need to be so aggressive about how you feel about something when the law is already on your side of the opinion. You're acting like David Koresh.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Like David Koresh"? How? Am I forcing you to have an abortion? To take the morning-after pill? To engage in unprotected s3x?

      Please do clarify.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jesus, for an omnipotent being, you seem deficient in reading comprehension. I already stated that anyone has a right to an opinion, and anyone else has a right to ridicule said opinion.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Jesus

      Ridicule only creates friction. If that's what makes your knickers wet then by all means, have at it. But if you're looking to have a normal discussion, you're not going to have one this way.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      A "normal discussion"? Here? You must be an alien visiting Earth.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Jesus

      I wish. They won't take me with these holes in my wrists. They point, laugh and say I'm damaged goods. Elijah gets the chariot of fire, and I'm stuck taking a dirt nap for three days, or so I thought. Ended up being 2,000 years.

      December 9, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  13. Anne Swanson

    Oh and BTW, abortions take over a million lives a year in just the US! That's no "blip"!

    December 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And about 780,000 of those are had by supposedly god-fearing believers. Yet another example of believers not holding themselves accountable to their own cult's rule.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And the crime rate has continued to decline since 1973. Coincidence? Hardly.

      If you're so interested in the lives of unwanted children, Anne, there are plenty in foster care.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  14. Anne Swanson

    What about STD's?! Do you think this will prevent those?!

    December 9, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No. Why, did you?

      December 9, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  15. Anne Swanson

    Mmmmmm........I must be hitting a nerve....

    December 9, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      The "nerve" you think you are hitting is related to your inability to take numerous hints about using the "reply" link so that your scattered thoughts are associated with the post(s) that they are related to.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  16. Anne Swanson

    TomTom, what did I do to you? I think we both have a right to an opinion..... And I did not lie!

    December 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes, you did lie.

      Furthermore, you have a right to an opinion and I have a right to point at you and laugh at you for being an idiot.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  17. Anne Swanson

    TomTom, don't be a snob! Sorry! My screen on the phone is about half an inch wide and I don't proof read my replies. Don't discredit the point because of the presentation!

    December 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, bull. You don't know how to write. It has nothing to do with your blackberry-if it did, you'd have 'fat-fingered' some words. That's not what you've been doing.

      Lying makes the Baby Jesus cry, Anne.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And the only 'point' you have is the one on your head.

      December 9, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Temper Tantrum Tommie is just angry. Ignore her posts. You can't take the snob out of a retired prost-i-tute.


      December 9, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Aww, what's the matter, fake? Can't get a rise out of anyone?

      December 9, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  18. Jacob

    For thousands of years, human life was seen as beginning when a baby took its first breath. Conservatives have proven that they have no problem with killing men, women, and children in wars based on lies and fabricated evidence, so their objection to abortion is obviously just a byproduct of their desire to control every facet of everyone's lives.

    December 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Jesus

      Life begins at erection! While we are at it, why don't we just label mastur bation as murder too. It's half of a fertilized egg is it not. Oh, and women, when you have your period, that too is murder. For every egg you have, it is your job to ensure it is turned into a lil' baby!!

      This is (Insert Repug Candidate) and I not only approve this message but will make this the law!!

      December 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  19. Jesus

    Life begins at erection! While we are at it, why don't we just label mastur bation as murder too. It's half of a fertilized egg is it not. Oh, and women, when you have your period, that too is murder. For every egg you have, it is your job to ensure it is turned into a kid!

    This is (Insert Repug Candidate) and I not only approve this message but will make this the law!!

    December 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  20. Anne Swanson

    I'm on my blackberry! My screen is a different format! Sorry:) and yes I am a woman! A good looking one at that!;)

    December 9, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • poopmeister

      Sorry Anne, you might be alone on this one. Jacob is right, far too many lives have been lost throughout the world and this happens to be a small blip on the radar. Granted I wish that everyone would take better precautions to prevent pregnacy but why can't this be one of them? It was the perfect thing to be invented for the "oh my god, I think the condom broke" or "I passed out last night at the party and I think I was taken advantage of" and a dozen other what if's. We need to take a break from the "when does life begin" rhetoric and start dealing with human nature in practical terms.

      December 9, 2011 at 7:01 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.