Federal Judges Strikes Age Restrictions for Plan B Over the Counter

Judge Korman stated in his opinion that the FDA’s refusal to lift restrictions was “arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable.” “More than 12 years have passed since the citizen petition was filed and 8 years since this lawsuit commenced,” the judge wrote. “The F.D.A. has engaged in intolerable delays in processing the petition. Indeed, it could accurately be described as an administrative agency filibuster.”

Would I be correct in assuming that children of any age can go into a store and buy, say, Ibuprofen over the counter? If so, this seems like a big "duh".

Teen Births Continue to Decline in U.S.

Guess why. Go on, guess—you know you want to, just go ahead and IT’S CONTRACEPTION, THAT’S WHY!

Hamilton said the decline in teen births, in particular, is especially “welcome news” and reflects the efforts of programs and policies targeting that age group.

“It’s definitely consistent with the trends that we’ve seen, and it’s obviously good news overall,” said Dr. Krishna Upadhya, who studies teen pregnancy at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

“I think the main thing behind this is increased contraceptive use, and better contraceptive use,” Upadhya, who wasn’t involved in the new research, told Reuters Health.

However, she added, there are still some parts of the country where both condoms and long-acting forms of contraception, such as intrauterine devices (IUDs), are harder for teens to access.

You don’t say.

Via The Frisky.

The Demographics of Abortion

One thing that hasn’t changed since 1973 is the public image of what a typical abortion patient looks like: A middle-class, white high-school or college student with no children whose bright future could be derailed by motherhood. Hollywood portrayals of abortion patients are few and far between, but largely reinforce this understanding; Juno, Friday Night Lights, and Parenthood all focused on characters from this demographic. But these images, while they were closer to reality once, don’t say much about the typical abortion patient of today.

If you want to know why feminists keep rattling on about how the key to reducing abortions is free contraception, this will tell you.

Via A Place of Greater Safety.

Birth Control: The Movie

Billing itself as “the definitive film on the subject of birth control and it’s [sic] impact on the Church, marriage, and family”, I strongly suspect this film will be definitive of nothing except the conservative evangelical mania for aping the dogma of the Republican Party instead of actually reading the Bible. This is from the film website:

We live in a culture where there is no fundamental difference on the issue of child prevention between the church of Jesus Christ and unbelievers. The fruit of our contraceptive culture is rancid and many voices are calling for a restoration of the church. In order to effectively communicate the truth about birth control and it’s [sic] impact on the church, marriage, and family, we have to ask two questions: How Did We Get Here, and Is It Up to Us?

My Further Questions:

  1. Why does there need to be a difference between the Church and the rest of the culture on the issue of preventing pregnancy?
  2. Did you think we wouldn’t spot your attempt to conflate contraception and hating children (“child prevention”)?
  3. What does it mean to have a “contraceptive culture”?
  4. How does restoration of the Church have anything to do with contraception?
  5. Is it possible that you’re just throwing around buzzwords and scare terms to trick us into believing contraception is a threat to our beliefs?
  6. Should people who aren’t even capable of distinguishing between possessives and contractions really be allowed to make movies?

All right, I got a little cheap, but so did they.

Via Libby Anne.

Ethiopian Women Pressured to Use Contraception as Condition of Immigration to Israel

Journalist Gal Gabbay last month published an expose claiming that Jewish Ethiopian women wishing to enter Israel from transit camps in Ethiopia were being manipulated into taking Depo-Provera, resulting in a declining birth rate for Ethiopians in Israel.

Depo-Provera, the brand name of a long-acting contraceptive injection, is a highly effective method of birth control but possible side effects include a decrease in bone density that puts women at increased risk for osteoporosis and fractures later on. That and other side effects are not immediately reversible, and returning to fertility can be a lengthy process. In addition, withdrawal symptoms can be acute.

Relatively few healthy women in Israel choose the injection without specific medical reasons.

One of the commenters on this Jezebel article shrewdly quoted the following text from the United Nations’ “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” (adopted on December 9, 1948):

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  • (a) Killing members of the group;

  • (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

  • (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

  • (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

  • (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Emphasis mine.

Catholic Hospital: Fetuses Aren't People

In 2006 Lori Stodghill, who was pregnant with twins, died of a heart attack at St. Thomas More Hospital in Cañon City, Colorado. The ER staff paged her obstetrician, Pelham Staples, but he never responded, so her unborn twins also died.

Stodghill’s husband Jeremy filed a wrongful-death suit against Staples, saying he should have either come to the hospital or instructed the staff on duty to perform an emergency C-section that would have saved the twins.

Defending attorney Jason Langley argued in a brief he filed on behalf of the hospital chain that the court “should not overturn the long-standing rule in Colorado that the term ‘person,’ as is used in the Wrongful Death Act, encompasses only individuals born alive. Colorado state courts define ‘person’ under the Act to include only those born alive. Therefore Plaintiffs cannot maintain wrongful death claims based on two unborn fetuses.”

Legally, he is, of course, correct. Ethically, though, it is massively hypocritical for the Catholic Church to claim that not only abortion but contraception are unacceptable because personhood begins at conception, only to claim innocence of malpractice because the “fetuses” they allowed to die don’t count as people.

Church officials now say they’re looking into the matter. Someone do me a favor and calculate the odds that their finding is: “Yes, we let two people die when we could have saved them. Here is a big pile of money, Jeremy Stodghill.”

Republican Governor Comes Out in Favor of OTC Birth Control

On Thursday Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, published an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal (behind a pay wall, so you might have to Google it), arguing in favor of over-the-counter contraception. While full of pretty typical anti-Obama rhetoric, Jindal goes further than many in the GOP seem willing to go:

Why do women have to go see a doctor before they buy birth control? There are two answers. First, because big government says they should, even though requiring a doctor visit to get a drug that research shows is safe helps drive up health-care costs. Second, because big pharmaceutical companies benefit from it. They know that prices would be driven down if the companies had to compete in the marketplace once their contraceptives were sold over the counter.

I don’t agree with Jindal’s assessment that making contraceptives available OTC would “take contraception out of the political arena”, but it would certainly help. More importantly, it would—duh—make contraception more readily available, and any pro-life person should be in favor of that.

Via the Feminist Majority Foundation Blog.

How Plan B Works

In addition to explaining the mechanics behind the popular morning-after pill, this adorable animation also shows how and on what timeline ovulation and fertilization occur, in case—like me—you’re a little fuzzy on the details.

Pediatricians: Prescribe Emergency Contraception to Teens in Advance

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that pediatricians begin prescribing Plan B ahead of time (where by “time” I mean “intercourse”) to women under 17, due to the difficulties teen girls often face in obtaining the drug:

A 2010 analysis of seven randomized studies of emergency contraception found that having a morning-after prescription in hand did not increase teens’ sexual activity or decrease use of standard contraceptives but did increase use of the pill and shorten the time before a teenager used it after sex.

I know I say this nearly every time I mention Plan B, but it does not cause abortions or prevent implantation.

Surprise! The Abortion Rate Just Hit an All-Time Low

Why is this a surprise? Even the graph shown indicates an overall trend of decreasing abortion incidence.

Who wants to guess why?

Okay, fine! It’s probably increased use of contraceptives. As if you didn’t know.