‘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. Annabel

    Your right, Gerald, don't you think by now we would see that the lies don't work! It's gottn no better! It just gets worse! It's like adoctor giving a patient more of the same kind of medicine that's making the patient horribly sick!

    December 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Another dimbulb who can't use the reply function. Good going Anne/Annabel.

      December 10, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  2. Annabel

    Take religion out of it, Random!!! Murder is still murder and if there were no absolutes of any kind and no wrong or right, we could all do anything we wanted at all times no matter WHAT it did to others!!! All civilizations live by a code or there would be chaos!!!! Take religion out of it!!!

    December 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      We are a nation of laws, dufus. Law, not religious belief, is the basis for our government. Murder is already illegal. Abortion isn't murder. Murder is illegal killing. It infringes on the right of a person. A fetus is not legally a person; it has no "right to live" under the Const it ution.

      You can blow your hot air all you want, honey, but you're about as effective as a screen door in a submarine.

      December 10, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • John80

      There are no absolutes

      December 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  3. Random324

    To those who follow their religion blindly(if you have taken the time to research other religions and sciences this doesnt apply to you), even if you consider the standard birth control pill as murder, the figure still doesnt add up to how many deaths religion has caused. Religion is an obsolete. Nothing about religion can be proven, except for historical events of said religious people, yet blind faith still rules your thought process. If you need a book to tell you what morals to have then you have no morals. You have not thought about ethics and right/wrong enough to form your own moral code so don't try and push your beliefs on others. There is enough pain and difficulty in this world to make a child raise a child. Additionally, what gives you the right to control another person. Pure ignorance and hypocrisy. One day religion will have no influence on society has a whole, unfortunately it wont be in our life times, to many people still choose to blindly follow rather then learning about the world.

    December 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • geraldh

      Modern day atheism has caused far more deaths – Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, Mao..

      December 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Atheism didn't cause those deaths. Those despots happened to be atheists.

      December 10, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And the actions of Stalin, Lenin, Mao, etc. are justification for forgetting that christians, including nuns, watched and participated in the slaughters in Africa in more recent times?

      December 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  4. Bill

    You know, if you we conservatives really think outside the box, we could really help fix a lot of the problems in America if they gave Plan-B away free in Chicago, and tripled or quadrupled Planned-Parenthood funding in Chicago. Would take a couple generations, but should work.

    December 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • geraldh

      This is the same kind of thinking that went on when the oral contraceptive came out. It would decrease out of wedlock pregnancy, improve marriages, reduce abortion, etc. etc. Out of wedlock pregnancy skyrocketed, divorce is now 50%, STD's which were less than 2% are epidemic, etc. etc. What a sad world when people think like you.

      December 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's sad is that you are clueless, gerald. You are confusing correlation with causation.

      December 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are also incorrect about abortion. Abortion rates have dropped steadily.

      December 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  5. Annabel

    Let's not forget, Masha, that even Obama said it would be better if less abortions were performed! Maybe he looks at the Plan B as something that young, uninformed girls would take in the early stages of pregnancy to try to terminate the pregnancy. This contains high levels of hormones that go against your body's natural hormones, and I don't think anyone would disagree with the fact that this could easily be overused and abused.

    December 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  6. MashaSobaka

    This was one of the most disappointing moves by the Obama administration – and that is saying a lot. None of the anti-Plan B arguments make any scientific sense. To say that an eleven-year-old girl would even think to buy this pill, or would *have the money to do it,* is just absurd. Teenage girls, who might actually be able to make use of this pill, know how to use it. We *know* that they know how to use it. And yet we will not allow their health and wellbeing to be in their own hands. Shame on anyone who supports taking away a person's right to protect themselves from harm. What is wrong with you?

    December 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  7. I musta missed something...

    Plan B isn't a form of abortion. It prevents conception. What's all this fuss?

    December 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Because idiots abound and stupidity is a profession in this country.

      December 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  8. kiki

    My other post is gone. huh. Only a man or a self h a t i n g woman could support state owned uteruses and involuntary servitude for victims. I'm heartened to see so many people voicing opposition to this a t t a c k on liberties.

    December 10, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  9. Anne Swanson

    Thank GOD I am not some elitist like you, Frodo, Who puts a price on human life!!! If you think murDer is ok for all the above reasons, then it should be ok AFTER birth for all the above reasons!!!! Furthermore 99 percent of all pregencies could have been prevented if the man and woman CHOSE not to have S.e.X.

    December 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, brother. What a kook you are.

      December 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are so misinformed it's frightening. Do you disapprove of birth control pills, too? Because the morning after pill does the same thing they do-it's emergency CONTRACEPTION. Not abortion. Read about it and stop being ignorant.

      December 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Frodo was not putting a price on human like. He was merely exposing the consequences of your proposal to ban all abortions. Unless many people, mostly believers, change their behaviour (fully comply with their cult's rules), there will be consequences that need to be fully understood and planned for. Are *you* prepared to deal with the consequences of *your* proposals and actions, and to hold *your* fellow cult members responsible? Or are you just going to continue to blame others? I suspect you don't understand the former and will carry on with the latter.

      December 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • NJBob

      I love it when you talk dirty! (S.e.X.)

      December 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  10. John


    December 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  11. frodo1008

    To Anne Swanson:
    So if you are a true Christian and therefore totally against all forms of abortion, just what do we do with the some 50 million estimated children that would now be alive without such methods? It now takes some $300,000 per each child in this country to be raised from birth through the age of 18, and that is even if that child does not go on to college before entering the work force as a fully tax paying adult!!

    So, 50 million (over the last 40 years or so) times $300,000 (and that is a very conservative figure) is equal to $15 trillion (or approximately the ENTIRE National Debt)!

    As most abortions are performed upon either very poor women, or at best the middle class, then very large amounts of governmental funds would have to be expended (just as the Scandinavians seem willing to actually do) to keep these now born children out of total misery and poverty.

    Are you then willing as a Christian to have yourself taxed by far larger amounts than you are presently to do this? If not, then you are not only not a Christian as you claim to be, but are a very great hypocrite besides. Could such a financial burden on the rest of us be a part of "Carrying the Cross of Christ"??

    This does not seem to be an aspect of the situation that many Christians even consider!! Are these "morning after" pills cheaper than actually raising children in a reasonable manner?? Hmmm, let me think!!

    December 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Notice how Anne avoided answering the question.

      December 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I think Anne has run out of steam due to severe embarassment. I suspect Anne is/was actually HeavenScent on steroids that have since worn off.

      December 10, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Could be. But I doubt they're one and the same. Anne hasn't used "spew" or "babble" enough. And she's not nearly nasty enough to be HS's alter ego.

      They're equally stupid, however.

      December 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  12. George

    It is really telling that the atheists in here defend the indefensable: the killing of the unborn. And they claim that they are moral people. This is why we need to see that only God-fearinng politi.ticians are elected to office. Christians, please read carefully what the atheists advocate and remember the perversity of it when voting next year. Remember that evil flourishes when good men do nothing.

    December 10, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • HotAirAce

      God fearing like Newt? That's a pretty low standard!

      December 10, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's pretty funny to watch you attempt to take away the rights women have under the Const itution and justify it with religious belief.

      December 10, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Howard

      George, I'll tell you what's telling. Posts like yours that twist things drastically. While most of the general public support a woman's right to choose, I can think of NO ONE who actually is in favor of abortion. Comments like yours show how "Christians" like to twist the facts to their liking.

      December 10, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  13. NJBob

    Every uterus found within the borders of these United States shall be deemed to be the property of the government of the United States and shall be subject to all laws and regulations pertaining thereto.

    December 10, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  14. ribtrww


    December 10, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  15. Reality

    Before the morning after pill:

    Cont-raceptive method use among U.S. women who practice con-traception, 2002 (From Guttmacher Inst-itute data)

    Method..... No. of users (in 000s)......................... % of users

    Pill....................... 11,661........................................ 30.6

    Male condom ........6,841........................................ 18.0 "

    As per Guttmacher data, the pill fails to protect women 8.7% during the first year of use . (Guttmacher data)

    i.e. 0.087 (failure rate)
    x 62 million (# child bearing women)
    x 0.62 ( % of these women using contraception )
    x 0.306 ( % of these using the pill) =

    1,020,000 unplanned pregnancies
    during the first year of pill use.

    For male condoms (failure rate of 17.4 and 18% use level)

    1,200,000 unplanned pregnancies during the first year of male condom use.

    The Gut-tmacher Inst-itute) notes also that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate
    (35,000 unplanned pregnancies) and for the male condom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unplanned pregnancies).

    o Conclusion: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

    from the CDC-2006
    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    And from:

    "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'"

    December 10, 2011 at 7:24 am |
  16. evensteven

    Who owns your body? The government? The Church?

    If a person doesn't feel like they own their body, then how will they ever accept responsibility for it?

    If a young lady is old enough to get pregnant, she's old enough to take whatever steps she wishes to prevent that pregnancy. The government needs to get out of the business of telling people what to do with their bodies . . . that is invasive government in the worst sort of way.

    December 10, 2011 at 5:50 am |
    • Reality

      Unfortunately, there are drug companies and drug dealers who need government (will of the people) controls.

      December 10, 2011 at 7:30 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, good. A conspiracy theorist. Just what this thread needs.

      December 10, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  17. jdoe

    Apparently conservatives prefer that girls don't find out they're pregnant until later, then have an abortion.

    December 10, 2011 at 4:36 am |
  18. Q

    I wonder if Anne would join me in supporting government-mandated blood/tissue/organ donations to save innocent children? Won't someone please think of all those terminally-ill and otherwise innocent children who match her tissue type and are desperately awaiting bone marrow, liver and kidney transplants? When we will we come to our senses as a nation and legislate what is clearly the proper moral behavior as I see it? Furthermore, we should move to outlaw miscarriages and divorce. Nothing less than the moral fabric of our nation is at stake...

    December 10, 2011 at 3:46 am |
    • JKYC

      Q – you are very wise. These people do not see that when you allow government into your bedroom, doctor's office and body, scary things can happen. Thanks for posting, you make a lot of sense.

      December 10, 2011 at 8:06 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Excellent post! What people also don't realize is that when the government can force women to carry pregnancies to term against their will, it can just as easily force them to terminate pregnancies against their will.

      December 10, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  19. Anne Swanson

    I don't support either, except in cases of self defense!

    December 10, 2011 at 1:54 am |
    • JKYC

      Anne, good for you. I don't want your moronic decisions to affect ME!!! It is your body, you do as you see fit. I have my body and I don't want your stupid opinions to be made for ME. Get it? Good.

      December 10, 2011 at 8:05 am |
    • geraldh

      The baby is not Anne's body or anyone elses. It is a life in itself. A human life.

      December 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It isn't in your body, gerald. And since that's the case, you have nothing to say about what the woman carrying it decides to do about it.

      Why are you on here, anyway? This isn't ABOUT abortion. It's about contraception. Emergency contraception that could prevent unintended pregnancies for women and therefore prevent abortions.

      December 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do you object to birth control pills, gerald? All forms of contraception? Any s3x outside of marriage? You do know that married women who have children already make up a substantial percentage of those who have abortions, right?

      December 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  20. Anne Swanson

    Paul if you read all the posts you would have seen that I am NOT trying to be rude but my Blackberry changes the screen's format and there is no option to reply! I am so sorry. Next time do.n't rash judge

    December 10, 2011 at 1:52 am |
    • Paul Ronco

      Thank you Anne for being so polite and tolerant of my rash judgment. However, I would like to add that whether it's your Blackberry's fault or not, it's still a bit annoying in that it makes it difficult to follow a discussion. For example, in that post, I still don't know which post of mine you were referring to.

      December 10, 2011 at 3:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Get off your blackberry and use a computer, Anne. Your replies make no sense when they're posted in the middle of nowhere.

      December 10, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oops. Scratch that. Your posts would make no sense no matter where you typed them.

      Plan B is not an abortion pill. The choices women make are not up to you. Abortion is legal. You don't get to dictate what others should or shouldn't do. That is why we have laws. If you don't like the laws, then you can attempt to get them changed; however, you should be aware that the majority of people do not want R v W overturned. That is unlikely to change. In fact, the percentages of people who are pro-choice and anti-choice have not changed much at all in the past decade. They are relatively stable. You're not going to be able to force women back into being lesser creatures just because they're pregnant.

      December 10, 2011 at 10:29 am |
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