Back in Beige

I’m back from an undisclosed location with shitty wi-fi, and I’m catching up. It’s kind of interesting to see what happened in just a few short days. Unless I missed something, Rick Perry decided to quit running for President and start running for Jesus, Newt Gingrich was just named President of the District of Columbia Press Corps, and teenage girls who used their fake ID to buy a dangerous drug (Four Loko) and have drunken sex are going to have to use the same ID to buy Plan B the next morning. Is that about right?

Of that ugly list, I’d have to say that the Plan B decision rankles the most. Obama’s effort to pin this on Sebelius just makes him look wimpy and weak. And, the only thing worse than an obvious cave to the right is the stupidity of this explanation:

And as I understand it, the reason Kathleen made this decision was she could not be confident that a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old going 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. And I think most parents would probably feel the same way.

“As I understand it”? Jesus wept. As for the rest, how about this: don’t sell Plan B to 10 or 11-year olds. Sell it to any kid who has some form of age-identifying id that puts him or her over the age of 13 or 15 or some other age under 18, call it a compromise, and move on.

Finally, remember the youth vote that supposedly was so god damned important to Democrats and is taken for granted even more than the minority vote? I’ll bet the polling on letting your little sister have Plan B if she makes a mistake is about 90/10 in favor in the 18-25 demographic.

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308 replies
  1. 1
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Why do you think it’s a cave to the right? It could just as likely be a decision on the merits — using a different set of merits, but on the merits — that wound up in the same place the right would have had it go.

    I’ll bet the polling on letting your little sister have Plan B if she makes a mistake is about 90/10 in favor in the 18-25 demographic.

    And how many of them vote?

    If this is a ploy, it’s not a ploy for the right-wingers — who won’t vote for Obama anyway — and it’s not a ploy for the 18-25 demographic. It’s a vote for the panic-stricken 35-50 “oh my God, my kids aren’t kids any more’ demographic. They vote. And sometimes they live in the White House.

    Everything in politics is over-determined anyways.

  2. 2
    Judas Escargot says:

    Finally, remember the youth vote that supposedly was so god damned important to Democrats and is taken for granted even more than the minority vote?

    You mean same youth vote that didn’t bother to show up in 2010 (only 11% of voters) because no unicorn was forthcoming, thereby enabling the biggest shift in the House in over 50 years? That youth vote?

    Yeah I remember them. If Plan B (or any other number of issues) were so important to them, perhaps they should have voted, and at least tried to give the Democratic President a Democratic House to work with.

  3. 3
    mistermix says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Come on, who’s been working to limit access to contraception, the Socialist Workers Party? It’s been the conservative wing of the Republican Party and conservative Catholic Democrats, the latter group being almost non-existent nowadays (since they all became Republicans). Of all the parents of teen girls that I know (and I do know quite a few), it’s the right-wing conservatives who don’t vaccinate their kids with Gardasil, not the supposedly “liberal but not my kid” parents. That’s the same group who would have the vapors over OTC Plan B.

  4. 4
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Davis X. Machina: It’s not “my kids aren’t kids any more” it’s “my kids are still kids but they’re having sex anyway.” Having, myself, had sex at the age of 16 (and 26, and 36, and 46, and 56) I can say with some experience that faculties of reasoning and a sense of possible consequences are things that develop over time, and having sex at 16 was, in retrospect, not awfully smart. I’d be willing to bet some portion of that “panic-stricken” demographic is more just hoping their kids aren’t as stupid as they themselves were.

  5. 5
    Hill Dweller says:

    I don’t have kids nor a younger sister, so take it for what it’s worth, but I still don’t see a problem with this after a couples of days thinking about it.

  6. 6
    David in NY says:

    @mistermix: I’m with Davis on this … I think there’s a large segment of the (perhaps lower-) middle class that is moderately well-disposed to Obama, but that thinks it owns its kids and gets to make important decisions for them, especially the girls, until they’re out of the house.

  7. 7
    bin Lurkin' says:

    As a thought experiment assume that Sibelius just went along with the FDA rule as written, plan B for teenyboppers.

    Would it simply not be an issue here at all?

  8. 8
    gaz says:

    come on mistermix… again? you want to go there ***again***?

    624 comments on the last thread about this wasn’t enough?

  9. 9
    Egg Berry says:

    I’m confused. Is Plan B the same as RU-486? Serious question.

  10. 10
    Steve M. says:

    Yeah, but kids don’t vote. They didn’t even vote all that much in 2008. And old/middle-aged people who are profoundly unsettled by the thought of their granddaughters/daughters having sex do vote — sometimes Democratic, but not always on the same social issues we vote on. (who do you think votes for Bob Casey and Bart Stupak?)

  11. 11
    TooManyJens says:

    @bin Lurkin’: It wouldn’t be an ideological problem, but implementation would be a bear.

  12. 12
    aimai says:

    I’m the parent of a 13 year old and a 16 year old. This is one of those horrendously stupid decisions that both matter a lot, and don’t matter a lot (voting wise). I agree that Obama was trying to placate some group of voting mothers who say things like “My kid has to get approval to get a tattoo,why not birth control/morning after pill?” That would be my sister in law. Others, like me, say things like “My kid could be huffing the cleaning fluids under the sink and cause more damage than she could by having the MAP in her purse.” If she, or one of her friends, is already having sex I’d rather she understood and tried to take precautions against getting pregnant than simply waited and prayed not to get “caught.” [Amanda Marcotte has a good piece gaming out the various ways this affects pre-teen sexual activity. Answer: not at all. It increases the risk of pre-teen pregnancy and abortion without making any given teen any safer.]

    What is unstated, I think, in this stupid decision is the assumption that if the MAP is OTC people, including men, will buy it and have it lying around to dispense to underage girls in preference to supplying them with contraception and condoms which would actually protect them from STDs as well as unwanted pregnancy.

    I’m disgusted with Obama and Sebelius but I already was for a number of reasons. I’ll still vote for Obama and contribute to the campaign so I think, from the most quisling and stupidly venal point of view, he made the right decision for himself as a politician even though it was an ugly and cruel decision for some little girl somewhere.

    aimai

  13. 13
    Hill Dweller says:

    There was no way any administration(Republican nor Democratic) is signing off on a regulation allowing early teens to buy birth control. At that point it’s just a matter of where the age limit falls. I suspect the debate was between 16 and 18, and they settled on 18 as the path of least resistance.

  14. 14
    aimai says:

    @Egg Berry:

    No, “Plan B” is nothing more than an extra dose of birth control that prevents implantation by (I think) bringing on an early menstruation/causing the uterus to shed its lining and the fertilized egg. RU 486 actually disrupts an implanted egg.

    aimai

  15. 15
    Egg Berry says:

    @aimai: thanks for the response.

  16. 16
    moonbat says:

    I’m as pro-choice as it gets, and am a former 16-year-old girl who made a multitude of stupid decisions in her time. And I think I probably would have made even more poor decisions if I had had access to a morning after pill without my parents’ knowledge. I can’t get worked up over this one.

    Nice self-troll, though. Didn’t this topic get thoroughly trounced in a 400+ post thread yesterday?

  17. 17
    Rhoda says:

    Yeah, I don’t think so.

    You go out to the suburbs, the President’s decision makes sense and is common sense. This is one of those fights it makes sense to take off the table heading into a close reelection. And frankly, I doubt anyone is going to vote based on the fact that the status quo didn’t change.

  18. 18
    amk says:

    Another meaningless knee-jerk post with the added bonus of mm mindreading that great 18-25 demographic.

    Yippee.

  19. 19
    jwb says:

    @mistermix: This has all the marks of being a thoroughly poll-tested decision, which was designed neither to appease the right (an impossibility) nor solidify the base but to reassure the low-information center, which they need in the election, that there are no plans afoot to promote sex among the teens. (Think about what the GOP ads would look like had open sales to under 18 been approved.) On the other hand, the fact that Obama felt like he needed to say something yesterday suggests that they are getting quite a bit more blowback from their actual base (not the blogging left) than they had anticipated. That the administration didn’t anticipate this reaction, which was entirely predictable, is more than a little worrisome, which makes me wonder if they discounted the polling of the base or didn’t bother to look at it.

  20. 20
    Guster says:

    He didn’t have the votes in the Senate to do anything else.

  21. 21
    mistermix says:

    @Rhoda: I live in the suburbs and interact with parents. There’s a minority of loud hysterics who get more attention than they should. But there’s a quiet majority of non-hysterics who prevail. Kids get a good sex ed program in the schools here, not some horseshit abstinence promise ring whitewash.

  22. 22
    mistermix says:

    @amk: Hey, we got a new troll while I was gone – exciting! Or did m_c change her handle?

  23. 23
    Paul in KY says:

    @bin Lurkin’: They freaked out when Perry did it. Think about a freakout when the kenyomoslem blackity black guy does it.

  24. 24
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @mistermix: Well, then it’s not political calculation, then, but moral panic. Because those voters aren’t crossing over, for anything.

  25. 25
    amk says:

    @mistermix: Really ? That’s your great comeback ? Just because I didn’t join your whine ? And not even knowing how long I was a BJ’er? Pathetic for a FP’er.

    Now GFY.

  26. 26
    Davis X. Machina says:

    If it were calculated, it’d have been better done. This is just a freak-out.

  27. 27
    bin Lurkin' says:

    @Paul in KY: Sorry, I didn’t make myself clear, would it be an issue here on BJ at all?

    I know the wingnuts would go ballistic, that’s what they do.

  28. 28
    David in NY says:

    @aimai:

    assumption that if the MAP is OTC people, including men, will buy it and have it lying around to dispense to underage girls in preference to supplying them with contraception

    It remains OTC for women over 16. From yesterday’s NY Times:

    The contraceptive pill, called Plan B One-Step, has been available without a prescription to women 17 and older, but those 16 and younger have needed a prescription — and they still will because of the decision by the health secretary, Kathleen Sebelius.

    A mother can get these pills and give them to her under 17-year-old or just keep them around for emergencies, I assume.

  29. 29
    mistermix says:

    @amk: Perhaps you should change your handle to “amk – BJ’er since 2009” so we could all bask in your cred and not accidentally downplay your importance to the blog.

  30. 30
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @David in NY: A lot of moms won’t go there, though — and that‘s the target market, if this is marketing at all for the move.

  31. 31
    amk says:

    @mistermix: More pathetic asshattery. What Molly Ivins said.

  32. 32
    scarshapedstar says:

    a medication that potentially, if not used properly, could end up having an adverse effect

    Is there a single pill in a drugstore* that does not fit this description?

    Take a whole bottle of Aspirin. See what happens.

    *Okay, yes, there’s homeopathic ‘medicine’, h/t James Randi.

  33. 33
    scarshapedstar says:

    @David in NY:

    If a mom is willing to keep a stash of Plan B just in case, she’s probably just as willing to let a doctor prescribe it.

    Also, too, the wingnuts’ next move FDA’s next ‘compromise’ will be to make it a crime to purchase Plan B for someone else.

  34. 34
    Rafer Janders says:

    And as I understand it, the reason Kathleen made this decision was she could not be confident that a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old going 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. And I think most parents would probably feel the same way.

    The only reason — the only reason — that a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old going into a drugstore would want — alongside bubble gum or batteries — to be able to buy that medication is if she’s has just been raped and is scared she might be pregnant, and any adverse effect from a 10-year-old getting pregnant is going to far, far outweigh any adverse effect from the medication.

    I’d like to think most parents would probably feel the same way, but sadly, I’m not so sure about that in this country.

  35. 35
    Jennifer says:

    I’m not going to get worked up about this, because kids are smarter than we give them credit for a lot of times, so I know it’s pretty likely that if a girl under 17 has unprotected sex and then wants access to plan B, what most of them will do is what my then-16-year-old niece did in a similar situation: get a 17-year-old friend to go in to the store to buy it for them.

    The kids have their workarounds for all the other stuff they aren’t supposed to have; this is no different. I’ll agree that the decision reeks of political cowardice, but don’t think, in most situations, it will place an insurmountable hurdle in the way of a girl younger than 17 having access to plan B without parental knowledge – it just makes them go through an older friend, like they do to get booze.

  36. 36
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    The decision was made on the merits, by the FDA, which ruled that the drug should be made available to children and teenagers. In an unprecedented move, Sebelius overrode the considered scientific and medical opinion of those most qualified to evaluate it, so no, I don’t think it’s at all possible that this was a decision made on the merits — or at least any medical, ethical or scientific merits.

  37. 37
    AxelFoley says:

    mistermix, dude you’re better than this.

  38. 38
    David in NY says:

    @scarshapedstar: @Davis X. Machina: No you’re right that moms who oppose Plan B won’t get it for their kid, and those who don’t, will. But I was specifically replying to aimai’s thought that the fear behind the rule was that adults would more easily be able to keep Plan B around to give to kids under the new rule. And my point was, even under the old (and still effective) rule, adults can do this, since adults do not need a prescription to get it.

  39. 39
    Davis X. Machina says:

    “…or at least any medical, ethical or scientific merits.”

    Your — and I would add my — ethical merits may tend that way. But it’s a big country, and one must work within an overlapping consensus of differing comprehensive doctrines, or abandon liberalism.

  40. 40
    NobodySpecial says:

    As I said before, at some point you have to decide not to chuck your principles over the chance that some schlub who won’t vote for you ever won’t like you anymore.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    @aimai:

    It’s actually the other way around: ECP prevents ovulation, which is one of the reasons it’s only about 75% effective — if the egg has already been fertilized, ECP doesn’t seem to do anything at all to disrupt implantation. That’s why it’s not an “abortion pill” despite what the forced-birthers try to claim.

    Part of the problem, of course, is that the forced birth crowd has managed to re-define pregnancy in the popular mind as starting at fertilization when, medically, it’s always been said to start at implantation. There’s not even any way to detect a fertilized egg until it implants.

    Or, as the NEJM says:

    The prevention of pregnancy before implantation is contraception and not abortion. Intervention within 72 hours after intercourse cannot possibly amount to abortion, because implantation is not achieved until at least seven days after ovulation and the egg is capable of being fertilized for only about 24 hours.

  42. 42
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jennifer:

    The kids have their workarounds for all the other stuff they aren’t supposed to have; this is no different. I’ll agree that the decision reeks of political cowardice, but don’t think, in most situations, it will place an insurmountable hurdle in the way of a girl younger than 17 having access to plan B without parental knowledge – it just makes them go through an older friend, like they do to get booze.

    This assumes quite a few things. Mainly that a person exists that can be trusted with their secret. Why are we forcing them to expose themselves to further risk?

  43. 43
    boss bitch says:

    Obama’s effort to pin this on Sebelius just makes him look wimpy and weak.

    So you know for sure that Sebelius couldn’t have possibly made this decision?

  44. 44
    TooManyJens says:

    @aimai:

    No, “Plan B” is nothing more than an extra dose of birth control that prevents implantation by (I think) bringing on an early menstruation/causing the uterus to shed its lining and the fertilized egg.

    No, Plan B only prevents fertilization, not implantation.

  45. 45
    rb says:

    and any adverse effect from a 10-year-old getting pregnant is going to far, far outweigh any adverse effect from the medication.

    Yeah, but if we acknowledge this then we don’t get to freak about about our ‘right’ to control who has access to birth control. What’s a 10-year-old’s health next to that?

  46. 46
    Paul in KY says:

    @bin Lurkin’: I’m sure some people in here would be agin it. Lots of people come/post here.

  47. 47
    Corner Stone says:

    @Guster: “Show me how you get to 60!!”

  48. 48
    Rafer Janders says:

    @aimai:

    I’m the parent of a 13 year old and a 16 year old. This is one of those horrendously stupid decisions that both matter a lot, and don’t matter a lot (voting wise). I agree that Obama was trying to placate some group of voting mothers who say things like “My kid has to get approval to get a tattoo,why not birth control/morning after pill?” That would be my sister in law.

    To these people I always ask “Do you think your teenage daughter should have to get your consent to have an abortion?”, to which they invariably reply yes.

    I then ask “do you think your teenage daughter should have to get your consent to continue with her pregnancy? Does she need your consent to give birth”?

    This seems to confuse them, because if they say yes, then they leave open the possibility of a parent ordering their child to have an abortion against the child’s wishes. But if they say no, then they’re admitting that their daughter should have some physical agency, and putting themselves in the odd position of requiring consent for an abortion, but not consent for a pregnancy, which is a far more time-consuming, dangerous, and life-altering medical condition.

  49. 49
    boss bitch says:

    Finally, remember the youth vote that supposedly was so god damned important to Democrats and is taken for granted even more than the minority vote? I’ll bet the polling on letting your little sister have Plan B if she makes a mistake is about 90/10 in favor in the 18-25 demographic.

    Huh?!

    The ones that are able to vote can still get the pill the way they always have. They aren’t worried. Those that are 16 and under will most likely never hear of this decision and if they do will shrug their shoulders because they know how to get it thru an older friend.

  50. 50
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    There was no way any administration(Republican nor Democratic) is signing off on a regulation allowing early teens to buy birth control.

    The practical effect of this, however, is that the adminstration is now signing off on early teens either (i) having an abortion or (ii) continuing with a pregnancy and giving birth.

    Why that seems to be preferable, I couldn’t possibly say.

  51. 51
    Corner Stone says:

    @Rhoda:

    This[insert here] is one of those fights it makes sense to take off the table heading into a close reelection.

    The Battle Cry of the Modern Democratic Party.

  52. 52
    boss bitch says:

    Lame. Very Lame.

  53. 53
    Three-nineteen says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Well, Jonathan Cohn found someone who actually did some reporting:

    But the FDA examined this issue, among others. As Maggie Fox of National Journal reported on Wednesday, Teva, the drug’s manufacturer, had provided the FDA with studies on 11- to 16-year-olds. “The FDA based its decision on years of data about adolescent health,” says Stanford University’s Lee Sanders, a pediatrician and leading scholar on health literacy. “That includes research on the specific question of how adolescents will use contraception.”

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonath.....traception

  54. 54
    boss bitch says:

    “As I understand it”? Jesus wept.

    Would be nice if you went into more detail about his answer.

  55. 55
    bin Lurkin' says:

    @Paul in KY:

    I’m sure some people in here would be agin it. Lots of people come/post here.

    Just think about which sides the various posters would be taking in the debate though..

    In my estimation there’s a solid third of the posters here who would be arguing the other side and be just as adamantly for plan B for teenyboppers as they are now against it.

  56. 56
    Corner Stone says:

    The “Myth of the Older Friend” is strong on this blog.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    After reading the various links that people had in the other thread, I think it’s more complicated than that. I think the argument between Sebelius and Hamburg is over whether the needs of the many (the girls 14-16 who are the most likely users) should outweight the needs of the few (the girls 10-13 who are less likely to use it, but more likely to be in a completely desperate situation). Given that the doctors who are most angry about this decision keep saying things like, “Where is an 11-year-old even going to get the money to buy this?” it sounds like it didn’t even really occur to them that they might need to make the packaging comprehensible to girls that young.

    Haven’t you ever gone into a meeting with your boss to present a huge report or presentation, only to have her suddenly throw a question at you that you don’t have an answer for because you thought it was so unlikely to happen that you didn’t look into it? That’s what the dueling press releases between Hamburg and Sebelius sound like to me — Sebelius is asking for information at the last possible second that Hamburg thinks is irrelevant to the decision, and Hamburg is (probably rightfully) pissed off at this last-minute ass-pull from Sebelius.

  58. 58
    chopper says:

    Sell it to any kid who has some form of age-identifying id that puts him or her over the age of 13 or 15

    oh yeah, that works. cause 13 year olds have official picture IDs with their name and age on em.

    i guess kids could carry around their passports. at least, the well-off white kids who actually have passports. plan b for the well-off white kids! miniature american flags for the rest!

  59. 59
    Shock Trooper in the War on Christmas says:

    So I’m going to happily wade into the “Plan B” mess (not having read the 600+ comments in the other thread).

    I think Sebelius made the right call, but perhaps for the wrong reasons.

    After all, Plan B is there in case Plan A (condoms, birth control pills, etc.) failed.

    I think it makes perfect sense if in such a case an adult (either a parent, a Planned Parenthood nurse, or another medical professional) would check why Plan A didn’t work for the kids in question and if there even was a Plan A in operation in the first place.

    Teens having sex is one thing, teens having unprotected sex with pregnancy prevention as an afterthought is quite another.

  60. 60
    Corner Stone says:

    @bin Lurkin’:

    In my estimation there’s a solid third of the posters here who would be arguing the other side and be just as adamantly for plan B for teenyboppers as they are now against it.

    “A solid third”? That’s some strong understatement you’ve got working. If the FDA had the final say on Plan B you would have seen a righteous mob of posters braying like jackasses about how righteous the administration was. They don’t give a damn about the policy outcomes.

  61. 61
    Paul in KY says:

    @bin Lurkin’: Yes, we call those people ‘lawyers’ :-)

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, the National Journal points out that this isn’t the first time that Sebelius has overriden an FDA recommendation:

    It’s not the first time Sebelius has defied the FDA’s advice. FDA revoked its approval last month of the enormously successful cancer drug Avastin to treat breast cancer. HHS immediately said Medicare would continue to pay for the drug if doctors prescribed it for breast cancer.

    As I said in the other thread, I’m wondering if this decision is a symptom of a larger dispute between Sebelius and Hamburg, especially given Hamburg’s dig at Sebelius as being a “former insurance commissioner.”

  63. 63
    Corner Stone says:

    @Shock Trooper in the War on Christmas:

    I think it makes perfect sense if in such a case an adult (either a parent, a planned parenthood nurse, or another medical professional) would check why Plan A didn’t work for the kids in question and if there even was a Plan A in the first place.

    Who did you tell when you first started having sex?

  64. 64
    scarshapedstar says:

    @Three-nineteen:

    “The FDA based its decision on years of data about adolescent health,” says Stanford University’s Lee Sanders

    Is it healthy for an 11-year-old to give birth?

  65. 65
    scarshapedstar says:

    @Shock Trooper in the War on Christmas:

    I think it makes perfect sense if in such a case an adult (either a parent, a Planned Parenthood nurse, or another medical professional) would check why Plan A didn’t work for the kids in question and if there even was a Plan A in operation in the first place.

    Yeah, that sounds nice. But why the hell do you think this morality lecture is more important than, you know, actually dealing with the unplanned pregnancy?

  66. 66
    rb says:

    @Rafer Janders: Why that seems to be preferable, I couldn’t possibly say.

    It allows us to not waste our beautiful minds thinking things through.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Where are 13 and 15 year-olds getting IDs? That answer is nothing better than Jon Stewart-ish exasperated “just meet in the middle” handwaving. If you want to tie it to an ID, it’s going to be driving age as a cutoff; or, in practice, you’re not going to be able to tie it to an ID and, if you want it broadly available to girls of younger ages (menarche keeps dropping, no?), seems like you’d just have to put it on the shelf. Now, I’m OK with that, because it’s a way to deal with a terrible emergency, and I’d rather have a scared 9 year old in over her head being able to get it than not.

    But if IDs are involved, you can’t easily get around the problem of where the underage kids are going to get the IDs in the first place. It’s kind of an important thing to resolve before cynical sighing about everyone else’s under-thought opinions.

  69. 69
    scarshapedstar says:

    @Shock Trooper in the War on Christmas:

    I could certainly envision the Confessor basically filibustering and demanding that the child take a 72-hour spiritual retreat or something. You’re familiar with the sham “pregnancy counseling” clinics that the anti-choicers set up to convince pregnant women that they can’t have an abortion, right?

  70. 70
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Me neither.

  71. 71
    Maude says:

    @scarshapedstar:
    You have it very wrong. Planned Parenthood educates teens about how reproduction works. They don’t give morality lectures. I bet you have never been to one of the classes.
    Explaining how different forms of birth control work is also important.

  72. 72
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @AxelFoley:

    Obviously not.

  73. 73
    Shock Trooper in the War on Christmas says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Who did you tell when you first started having sex?

    This one time, for example, I told this Planned Parenthood nurse about a broken condom, after which me and my GF got some Plan B and the nurse could go on informing some other poor sods about the benefits of safe sex,

    Are you seriously suggesting that we should make it as easy as possible for teens who, for whatever reason, did something wrong in the safe sex department to not talk about safe sex with, for instance, a qualified professional such as a Planned Parenthood nurse?

  74. 74
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @gaz:

    Obviously not.

  75. 75
    TooManyJens says:

    Here’s something that I think people who want timely access to EC for minors and people who think minors should talk to an adult could both get behind:

    Pharmacy Access to Emergency Contraception

    Because of the importance of timely access to EC and the difficulty in obtaining prescriptions, some states have taken steps to help women access EC more easily. Currently, nine states allow licensed pharmacists to directly dispense EC to women without advance prescriptions: AK, CA, HI, ME, MA, NH, NM, VT, and WA.1 Because pharmacies are more widely located and tend to have longer business hours, direct access through pharmacies helps women by removing unnecessary obstacles to obtaining EC.
    __
    States that allow pharmacy access to EC do so through either collaborative practice agreements or a state protocol. Collaborative practice agreements are voluntary arrangements between a pharmacist and a physician that permit the pharmacist to dispense EC directly to patients without an advance prescription.2 State protocols are written protocols approved by the state’s pharmacy board that give pharmacists authority to dispense EC without an advance prescription under certain conditions.

    So in 9 states, pharmacists can essentially write the prescriptions for EC themselves. Minors receiving EC would have to talk to a medical professional, but the barrier of having to make, get to, and pay for a doctor’s appointment would be gone.

    Thoughts?

  76. 76
    TooManyJens says:

    God damn it, the keyword filter is stupid.

  77. 77
    scarshapedstar says:

    @Shock Trooper in the War on Christmas:

    How does the kid get to Planned Parenthood? Are they old enough to drive? And your talk about “making it easy” for someone who “did something wrong” hints at a certain degree of slut-shaming. You claim that you’re all about education but it’s pretty hard to ignore the theme of punishment. I am quite frankly very, very okay with making it easy for women to avoid being saddled with a child they never wanted in the first place.

    How about this, 72 hours after the girl takes the pill, her number is given to some medical professional to counsel her on avoiding this situation in the future. Does that meet your requirements? If not, why not?

  78. 78
    KeithOK says:

    Corner Stone,

    So your argument is that we have to force the teen to make a choice between risking pregnancy or reporting her actions to an adult, otherwise we’re making things too easy on them?

    So the many who make the choice you don’t agree with deserve to get pregnant ? Can’t make that choice of keeping secrets too easy. You really think making the risks high enough is going to force teens to talk to a qualified professional (assuming there is one available that they can trust).

    For many teens, the easy choice is still going to be not tell anyone and take a chance.

  79. 79
    KeithOK says:

    Sorrry, comment was meant for Shock Trooper, not Corner stone.

  80. 80
    Corner Stone says:

    @Shock Trooper in the War on Christmas:

    Are you seriously suggesting that we should make it as easy as possible for teens who, for whatever reason, did something wrong in the safe sex department to not talk about safe sex with, for instance, a qualified professional such as a Planned Parenthood nurse?

    Are you seriously suggesting any of my comments could even possibly be interpreted that way?

  81. 81
    BrianM says:

    @chopper:

    oh yeah, that works. cause 13 year olds have official picture IDs with their name and age on em.

    My kids got school picture IDs when they went to Middle School, which is – what? – 12. They seem to be widely accepted as proof of identity. For example, the local mass transit district accepts them for buying summer passes. Ditto for the park district and pools.

  82. 82
    Shock Trooper in the War on Christmas says:

    @scarshapedstar:

    And your talk about “making it easy” for someone who “did something wrong” hints at a certain degree of slut-shaming.

    Fuck you.

    How about this, 72 hours after the girl takes the pill, her number is given to some medical professional to counsel her on avoiding this situation in the future. Does that meet your requirements? If not, why not?

    It would, you twit.

  83. 83
    blondie says:

    How ’bout the govmint just keep its nose out of people’s sex lives? What other over-the-counter medications have age restrictions? If persons of a particular age are precluded from purchasing AspirGum, then I don’t mind them being precluded from buying this medication, as well. Until then, this is political posturing/caving to the right-wing at the expense of the truly desperate.

    I keep hoping Obama and the rest of the D.C. Dems will have women’s backs on something, but I feel like Charlie Brown, flippin’ through the air once more.

    The right-wing has completely taken the field nationally on reproductive rights issues. Even those who think women and girls should be able to make their own decisions about their own bodies hardly dare or bother to say so. It’s much more popular to act like good women and girls don’t have sex, and the bad ones who do have sex deserve whatever outcome may occur.

  84. 84
    Pococurante says:

    This was a political decision. I agree with it. Firebaggers of course will not.

    I’m in for the war. Dying on Hill 303 is of no interest to me.

  85. 85
    Corner Stone says:

    There are a lot of arguments being littered about, IMO mostly in an attempt to justify a bad decision or square up some misguided application of the squick factor.
    But the policy outcome remains the same. Young teens are either going to have to place their confidence in another human being (Myth of the Older Friend), come clean to a parental type (always an outcome a prudish society desires!), or deal with further complications from a potential pregnancy.

  86. 86
    Brachiator says:

    @mistermix:

    I live in the suburbs and interact with parents. There’s a minority of loud hysterics who get more attention than they should. But there’s a quiet majority of non-hysterics who prevail. Kids get a good sex ed program in the schools here, not some horseshit abstinence promise ring whitewash.

    If there is a good sex ed program somewhere in America, I certainly applaud it. On the other hand, if the conversations of the 20 somethings in my office is any indication, even in this age of information overload, the tradition of enormous sexual stupidity continues unabated.

    But I can’t get too worked up over this decision, which pretty much preserves the status quo.

    I said in an earlier post that teens would get Plan B the same way that a lot of them get beer, by asking or paying an adult to buy it for them. The fake ID thing works as well.

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Where are 13 and 15 year-olds getting IDs?

    There is a joke, based on reality, that goes around in Los Angeles, about teens from the suburbs and their illegal immigrant housekeepers going together to get Fake ID in certain places downtown.

  87. 87
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Shock Trooper in the War on Christmas:

    I think it makes perfect sense if in such a case an adult (either a parent, a Planned Parenthood nurse, or another medical professional) would check why Plan A didn’t work for the kids in question and if there even was a Plan A in operation in the first place.

    In theory, sure. In reality, not going to happen, and much more likely to lead to an abortion or unplanned pregnancy later.

  88. 88
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Shock Trooper in the War on Christmas:

    Are you seriously suggesting that we should make it as easy as possible for teens who, for whatever reason, did something wrong in the safe sex department to not talk about safe sex with, for instance, a qualified professional such as a Planned Parenthood nurse?

    How exactly does making medication available to young girls prevent them from talking about safe sex with a Planned Parenthood nurse? If they want to go talk to him or her, they’re always welcome to (assuming, of course, that they even live in a place with a Planned Parenthood clinic, or could get there without being driven by an adult, etc.).

  89. 89
    AxelFoley says:

    @blondie:

    I keep hoping Obama and the rest of the D.C. Dems will have women’s backs on something, but I feel like Charlie Brown, flippin’ through the air once more.

    The fuck?

    1) How is this not having women’s backs? Last I checked, 12 & 13 year-olds weren’t women.

    2) All the stuff this President has done for women (major positions in his cabinet, TWO Supreme Court justices, Lilly Ledbeder Act, etc), how you can type that shit is beyond me.

  90. 90
    chopper says:

    @scarshapedstar:

    How does the kid get to Planned Parenthood? Are they old enough to drive?

    how does the kid get to the ph armacy to buy plan b?

  91. 91
    chopper says:

    @BrianM:

    that happen everywhere? or are your kids gonna be the lucky ones who can prove their age to buy plan b?

    hey, my kid is 3 and she has a picture ID. doesn’t mean they all do.

  92. 92
    Brachiator says:

    @blondie:

    How ‘bout the govmint just keep its nose out of people’s sex lives?

    What other over-the-counter medications have age restrictions? You do realize, that distinctions are made between over the counter and prescription medications because of government regulations?

    And the whole issue of parental responsibility, including about sexual matters, has as its foundation govmint enforcement.

    I guess that some posters here would like children to be treated like emancipated minors, at least as far as sexual matters go, as soon as they reach puberty, but this is not likely to happen any time soon.

  93. 93
    blondie says:

    Guess who else had all sorts of powerful women in their admin? W! Remember the health care fight? Who got thrown under the bus there?

    And the whole issue of parental responsibility, including about sexual matters, has as its foundation govmint enforcement.

    What?

  94. 94
    chopper says:

    @blondie:

    What other over-the-counter medications have age restrictions?

    pseudoephedrine. nicotine-bearing stuff. also, depending on the state, cough medicine. i’m sure there are others.

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @blondie:

    What other over-the-counter medications have age restrictions?

    What other OTC medications do we assume children will be taking on their own without the supervision of an adult?

    People kept bringing up Tylenol in the other thread, but how many kids have to take it in secret and can’t tell their parents if they have a weird side effect?

    As I said in the other thread, I’m not opposed to girls of any age taking Plan B, but we can’t use the same assumptions about the labeling that we do with every other OTC drug, because every other OTC drug assumes that it’s being used or administered by adults. The label for Children’s Tylenol isn’t written so a five-year-old can dose herself — it’s written so an adult can give the dose to the child.

  96. 96
    B W Smith says:

    I consider myself to be a liberal person, but I really don’t have a problem with this decision, whether it is politically motivated or not. The NYT article states that experts have said that making Plan B available for all ages OTC would probably have almost no effect on the numbers of unwanted pregnancies or abortions. They do not cite which experts they spoke with however.

    Completely anecdotal, I worked for a number of years in a program for teen unwed mothers. The youngest girl was twelve the first time she gave birth and fourteen when her second child was conceived. Most of the girls in program resisted all of our attempts to get them on birth control. None of the pregnancies were a result of rape or incest. Obviously, I can’t speak for all girls who may need or use Plan B, but I am convinced that none of these girls would have voluntarily done so. They each wanted to have babies for reasons that ranged from making their boyfriends happy to wanting someone (their babies) for unconditional love.

    The question for me is not whether making Plan B available for younger girls is medically safe, but is it effective Part of that effectiveness is how many in the group would actually follow through with using it and using it correctly.

  97. 97
    TooManyJens says:

    @chopper:

    how does the kid get to the ph armacy to buy plan b?

    Pharmacies are a lot more common than Planned Parenthoods.

    Since my other comment is still in moderation, I’m going to try this again with just the link and not the quotes: http://is.gd/cDJJql

    That link describes a plan in which ph*armacists can write the prescr*ptions for Plan B themselves. That way minors would still be able to get EC in a timely fashion but would need to talk to a medical professional. It strikes me as a good compromise between competing concerns.

  98. 98
    Zach says:

    The stupidest thing about the Plan B debate is that it wouldn’t happen if we had a sane, nationalized healthcare system in the first place. You’d have clinics where people of any age could go to (1) ask about emergency contraception without worrying about being stigmatized (2) be given a pregnancy test (3) told how to properly administer Plan B and given another pregnancy test to take later and (4) be given everything free of charge. Problem solved. No issue with possible misuse; if a pregnant 11-year-old walks in, call social services.

    I buy that there are potential issues with providing it OTC, and I don’t know that there are Federal laws that could mandate that folks ask for IDs when it’s bought… states do this sort of thing (ask for ID, keep track of who buys things) with various drugs that are precursors for illegal narcotics, addictive, or sold directly on the black market, but those drugs are controlled for other reasons.

    The problems with OTC Plan B aren’t made up… apparently the entire writing and production crew on The Walking Dead shouldn’t be allowed to buy it OTC.

    Edit: To be clear, I’d go w/ the FDA on this.

  99. 99
    Paul in KY says:

    @KeithOK: I thought Corner Stone was saying that they (the kids) wouldn’t tell any adults. Especially if they are young teens.

  100. 100
    Cermet says:

    Yet that same little girl can legally buy over-the-counter Tylenol – the most deadly drug sold that results in the estimated deaths of between 3 to 6 thousands people every year. Yeah, plan B is really up there considering at best a few dozen young girls might get adverse effects. Better dead than have health control of their own vagina’s … .

  101. 101
    Ripley says:

    mistermix: y u no stay in undisclosed location?

  102. 102
    chopper says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Pharmacies are a lot more common than Planned Parenthoods.

    that aint sayin much. ph armacies are common as hell where i am, but i live in the big city. in lotsa places in this country getting to the ph armacy means driving or at least taking the bus.

  103. 103
    Three-nineteen says:

    @scarshapedstar: Not sure what your point is. The FDA decided that it was appropriate for all females of child-bearing age, based on all the data available. Sebelius is the one that overruled them based on no data.

  104. 104
    chopper says:

    @Cermet:

    Yet that same little girl can legally buy over-the-counter Tylenol

    something i’m not exactly a fan of, to be honest. 11 year old kids should not be allowed to buy and self-administer tylenol without any adult supervision. in fact, that applies to most all OTC medication i can think of.

    maybe i’m old school or something, maybe it’s because i have a kid.

  105. 105
    B W Smith says:

    Stuck in moderation. Trying again and hoping I have changed the bad words. Sorry if this becomes a re-post.

    I consider myself to be a liberal person, but I really don’t have a problem with this decision, whether it is politically motivated or not. The NYT article states that experts have said that making Plan B available for all ages OTC would probably have almost no effect on the numbers of unwanted pregnancies or abortions. They do not cite which experts they spoke with however.

    Completely anecdotal, I worked for a number of years in a program for teen unwed mothers. The youngest girl was twelve the first time she gave birth and fourteen when her second child was conceived. Most of the girls in the program resisted all of our attempts to get them on birth control. None of the pregnancies were a result of ra*pe or in*cest. Obviously, I can’t speak for all girls who may need or use Plan B, but I am convinced that none of these girls would have voluntarily done so. They each wanted to have babies for reasons that ranged from making their boyfriends happy to wanting someone (their babies) for unconditional love.

    The question for me is not whether making Plan B available for younger girls is medically safe, but is it effective. Part of that effectiveness is how many in the group would actually follow through with using it and using it correctly.

  106. 106
    eemom says:

    shorter mistermix: Because a 625-comment, still raging flame war on this exact same topic is just not enough.

    um, welcome back.

  107. 107
    FromTheBackOfTheRoom says:

    “just makes him look wimpy and weak.” Jeepers. Who could’ve predicted that?

  108. 108
    Corner Stone says:

    @chopper:

    but i live in the big city. in lotsa places in this country getting to the ph armacy means driving or at least taking the bus.

    John Cole says he lives in a town of 300 people. Anyone taking any bets as to which one his village has?

  109. 109
    Brachiator says:

    @TooManyJens:

    That link describes a plan in which ph*armacists can write the prescr*ptions for Plan B themselves. That way minors would still be able to get EC in a timely fashion but would need to talk to a medical professional.

    It strikes me as a good compromise between competing concerns. I’m not sure that a ph*armacist is a medical professional, at least not the same way that a doctor is. His or her ability to counsel is extremely limited.

    Some of the comments here and in the other super ass long thread want to make sure that a girl get access to emergency contraception as quickly as possible, as though that is the beginning and the end of the issue. But a girl trying to buy Plan B may have been having unprotected sex, which is problematic not only because of any pregnancy risk, but for a broader variety of health concerns. A girl in this situation really should be seeing a doctor, and may need some serious sex education and counselling.

  110. 110
    chopper says:

    @Corner Stone:

    in the suburb i grew up in, the ph armacy was a drive away. either that or your 11 year old ass walked for a mile or so by yourself across a couple of highways.

    i have a feeling there’s a lot of america that’s the same way.

  111. 111
    Karen says:

    As stupid as it may sound, I really think that Obama would have reacted differently if he didn’t have two daughters. Period.

  112. 112
    TooManyJens says:

    @Brachiator:

    A girl in this situation really should be seeing a doctor, and may need some serious sex education and counselling.

    Agreed. But surely a ph*rmacist could steer her in that direction, as well as making sure she was taking the medication appropriately.

    Again, I think a lot depends on whether people think that girls who would otherwise be going to doctors would no longer do so if they could get Plan B OTC. I don’t think that’s the case. If I’m right, this compromise would actually increase sexually active girls’ contact with health care professionals, not decrease it.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cermet:

    Those “adverse effects” include Plan B not working and the girl ending up pregnant after all. That’s one hell of an “adverse effect” and, yes, one that needs some patient follow-up.

  114. 114
    FromTheBackOfTheRoom says:

    @Brachiator:

    “But I can’t get too worked up over this decision, which pretty much preserves the status quo.” This should go on the O-bot coat-of-arms.

  115. 115
    Nellcote says:

    How many pharmacies, using the conscience clause, would refuse to sell it altogether if forced to sell it to minors?

  116. 116
    chopper says:

    @FromTheBackOfTheRoom:

    as opposed to the firebagger crest, a pouting child with “indignantia in perpetuam” underneath.

  117. 117
    Brachiator says:

    @TooManyJens: RE:A girl in this situation really should be seeing a doctor, and may need some serious sex education and counselling.

    Agreed. But surely a ph*rmacist could steer her in that direction, as well as making sure she was taking the medication appropriately.

    I don’t know whether ph*rmacists are competent to do this at all, or to do much more than provide information about taking medication.

    Again, I think a lot depends on whether people think that girls who would otherwise be going to doctors would no longer do so if they could get Plan B OTC. I don’t think that’s the case. If I’m right, this compromise would actually increase sexually active girls’ contact with health care professionals, not decrease it.

    I don’t know. Everyone here creates their own mental image of a teenager, some more savvy than others about sexual matters.

    I just don’t know. On one of commutes to an old job, I would be dismayed by the number of teen girls with babies going here and there, and the number of teen boys who, by their conversations, still connect masculinity with the ability to impregnate a girl. And yeah, this is not a statistically significant sample, but many surveys about teens I see still show deep pockets of ignorance and uninformed bravado, even in upscale communities.

  118. 118
    rb says:

    Obviously, I can’t speak for all girls who may need or use Plan B, but I am convinced that none of these girls would have voluntarily done so.

    Oh well, never mind then. /facepalm

  119. 119
    boss bitch says:

    @Karen:

    As stupid as it may sound, I really think that Obama would have reacted differently if he didn’t have two daughters. Period.

    Men with daughters are more sensitive to women’s issues – according to studies anyway.

  120. 120
    carpeduum says:

    Ah yes, mistermix showing his true colors by turning on a dime on the prez over a minor issue such as this. Which of course only means these are not the sort of people the prez can ever count on when the going really gets tough anyways.

    fuk you very much mistermix ya hack.

  121. 121
    rb says:

    On one of commutes to an old job, I would be dismayed by the number of teen girls with babies going here and there, and the number of teen boys who, by their conversations, still connect masculinity with the ability to impregnate a girl. And yeah, this is not a statistically significant sample, but many surveys about teens I see still show deep pockets of ignorance and uninformed bravado, even in upscale communities.

    All the more reason to ensure those teenagers carry unwanted pregnancies to term! That’ll learn ’em.

  122. 122
    boss bitch says:

    How does the kid get to Planned Parenthood? Are they old enough to drive?

    Get a ride from someone, get a cab or take public transportation. WTH?

  123. 123
    boss bitch says:

    @blondie:

    I keep hoping Obama and the rest of the D.C. Dems will have women’s backs on something, but I feel like Charlie Brown, flippin’ through the air once more

    You can disagree with the decision but don’t play ignorant when it comes to his record on women’s rights.

  124. 124
    Karen says:

    @boss bitch:

    I guess it depends how you define “sensitive to women’s issues.” I’ll admit I’m not a mother or even an aunt. But I don’t think it’s “anti-women” to not feel comfortable with the thought of having a young teenager have access to an OTC Plan B pill. At least with abortion, it’s done under the care of a doctor.

  125. 125
    carpeduum says:

    Am I the only one who finds it amusing that SUDDENLY the professional left thinks teenage access to the pill is the most important issue of our time!

    I just know Coles dreamboat Lt Dan Choi will come out of the woodword for this one in 3…2….1

  126. 126
    boss bitch says:

    @Karen:

    I don’t think its anti-woman either.

  127. 127
    TooManyJens says:

    I disagree with the decision, but I don’t think it’s anti-woman either. There are reasonable arguments to be made either way (and shitheaded ones to be made either way, of course).

  128. 128
    rb says:

    But I don’t think it’s “anti-women” to not feel comfortable with the thought of having a young teenager have access to an OTC Plan B pill.

    But it is anti-women to focus exclusively on 10 and 11 year olds, who you feel you can/must protect through rules.

    The vast majority of people directly affected by this are 14-16. They’ll be women quite soon, and (thanks to this decision) more will have a toddler in tow when they hit womanhood.

  129. 129
    Brachiator says:

    @FromTheBackOfTheRoom: RE: “But I can’t get too worked up over this decision, which pretty much preserves the status quo.”

    This should go on the O-bot coat-of-arms.

    Since I’m not an O-bot, I couldn’t say.

    @chopper:

    as opposed to the firebagger crest, a pouting child with “indignantia in perpetuam” underneath.

    Very good.

  130. 130
    Paula says:

    Screw this “debate”. Apparently being skeptical about a high dosage hormone pill taken by under-16 girls without supervision makes you pro-teen rape and anti-woman.

    I was talking to a friend of mine who’s had an extensive family history of breast cancer and whose mother died of the disease. The “regular” pill is not even in her range of birth control options because of the (as of yet, inconclusive) evidence linking pill use to increased risk for breast cancer. Again, there is nothing in the Teva study to suggest that they know what effect multiple doses of Plan B (1 every week? 2 every month?) would have on a developing body.

  131. 131
    Corner Stone says:

    @rb: I also found the whole anecdote pretty righteous. I mean, no one ever lies to strangers about sexual matters amirite? Or lies about in*cest or abuse or rape or…

  132. 132
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @rb: Well, not _more_, because there are no more restrictions in place now than there were beforehand. It hasn’t been kept from more people, it just hasn’t been expanded. I would prefer that it be expanded myself, but the “more” formulation just isn’t accurate.

  133. 133
    Karen says:

    @rb:

    The vast majority of people directly affected by this are 14-16. They’ll be women quite soon, and (thanks to this decision) more will have a toddler in tow when they hit womanhood.

    I don’t understand how a teenaged girl would make a smart decision about getting a OTC Plan B pill when they couldn’t make a smart enough decision to use protection in the first place.

  134. 134
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Paula: I’m not in the habit of reading medical studies, but presumably the people that evaluate them for the FDA are pretty good at it, and they didn’t see that as a problem.

  135. 135
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Karen: Then again, condoms break and, regrettably, so do boys’ promises.

  136. 136
    boss bitch says:

    @rb:

    But it is anti-women to focus exclusively on 10 and 11 year olds, who you feel you can/must protect through rules.

    No, its not.

  137. 137
    Brachiator says:

    @rb: RE: On one of commutes to an old job, I would be dismayed by the number of teen girls with babies going here and there, and the number of teen boys who, by their conversations, still connect masculinity with the ability to impregnate a girl. And yeah, this is not a statistically significant sample, but many surveys about teens I see still show deep pockets of ignorance and uninformed bravado, even in upscale communities.

    All the more reason to ensure those teenagers carry unwanted pregnancies to term! That’ll learn ‘em.

    Why are you assuming that these pregnancies are unwanted?

  138. 138
    TooManyJens says:

    @Karen:

    I don’t understand how a teenaged girl would make a smart decision about getting a OTC Plan B pill when they couldn’t make a smart enough decision to use protection in the first place.

    Rape happens. Condoms can break.

  139. 139
    Paula says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    “Presumably” …

    OK, so one of the more disturbing things in that crazy thread was how all of a sudden everything the FDA does is sacrosanct and how they’re all guided by the pure aspirations of scientific inquiry and public safety. No, they are not.

    But more importantly, Plan B does not equal Tylenol. Plan B may be safe for “intended use” as emergency birth control, but there is a good chance that teens who are unable to speak to others about alternate means of BC would be inclined to use this a primary BC, which means multiple doses in a given period of time. Is someone prepared to assert that this is either 1)impossible or 2)completely safe even if it were to happen?

  140. 140
    Karen says:

    @TooManyJens:

    I understand that rape happens. I’m not saying anything but that I don’t think it’s anti-woman to feel uneasy about teenaged girls having access to an OTC pill without having to go to a doctor. Even birth control pills need a doctor.

  141. 141
    TooManyJens says:

    @Paula:

    there is a good chance that teens who are unable to speak to others about alternate means of BC would be inclined to use this a primary BC, which means multiple doses in a given period of time.

    Is there? It’s expensive and the side effects, though not dangerous, are unpleasant as hell (mostly nausea and vomiting). I admit I haven’t read it, but the FDA said the OTC application included use studies, showing that teens who had access to Plan B did not use it inappropriately.

    @Karen: I don’t have a problem with that uneasiness, but felt a need to push back against the idea that the only reason anyone would need Plan B was that they weren’t smart enough to use birth control.

  142. 142
    ruemara says:

    This is absolutely moronic, Mix. One, Sebelius made the decision, not sure how that’s Obama’s attempt to pin things on her. Two, for damn sure I have a problem with OTC purchase by 11 year olds. They can’t buy cough medicine without limits, why Plan B? Three, for fuck’s sake, not everyone can take massive hormone doses safely, I should know, birth control nearly killed me. And I was an adult. I don’t think it should be a parental authority issue, I think for kids, they need to have an adult who is responsible to make sure it is taken appropriately and can monitor for side effects. Planed Parenthood, a community health center, something. Four, also for fuck’s sake, the language of the dissent was that the instructions were not deemed to be clear enough for those under a certain age yet this would be marketed to them. Is that simple enough for you?

  143. 143
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Paula: The FDA is an agency devoted to weighing such factors. I am not an expert. Are you? Have they done their work properly? I have no idea. But I do tend to trust actual medical researchers over the well-intentioned objections of people who haven’t given any particular justification for why their concerns should trump those except for unspecified worries that sometimes the FDA has fucked up in the past.

  144. 144
    Paula says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Ok, so given that we’re providing examples of 11-year-old rape victims, I thought that I was rather conservative in thinking of how 13-17 YO girls might use it. In which they have sex, but occasionally forget condoms, or worse, don’t ask their partner(s) to have them, and rely on Plan B as a regular “back up” birth control because it’s they only kind of BC that they don’t have to speak to anyone else to get.

    How many “plan B” pills are safe to take in a week? A month?

    Jesus, I don’t even disagree that this was a political decision. But this cavalier attitude about a wider access to a pill on an untested population is creepy as fuck.

  145. 145
    Karen says:

    I took birth control to control my periods from when I was 18 to when I was 36. Then I was forced to abruptly stop it when I got a Deep Vein Thrombosis. These hormones have a lot of side effects and risks, it’s not like taking Tylenol and I wish people would stop that comparison.

  146. 146
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ruemara:

    They can’t buy cough medicine without limits, why Plan B

    I wouldn’t mind a larger discussion of what medications are available without any apparent restrictions, and how safe that is. As a casual observer, though, it sure looks like the default is to put most everything on the shelves — win the exception of addictive and potentially abusive substances like those with high alcohol content or narcotic properties. What else in the farmacia is restricted, or makes you show an ID before buying it?

  147. 147
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Um, WITH the exception, not “win” the exception.

  148. 148
    Brachiator says:

    @TooManyJens:

    I admit I haven’t read it, but the FDA said the OTC application included use studies, showing that teens who had access to Plan B did not use it inappropriately.

    The FDA rightly looked at safety and efficacy issues.

    But part of the background to this is why teen girls needed access to Plan B in the first place. And I don’t assume that they were not smart enough to use birth control.

    And I am not sure why people are invoking rape as an example. Would you really want a teen to just go to a farmacia instead of to the police in the case of rape?

  149. 149
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brachiator:

    But part of the background to this is why teen girls needed access to Plan B in the first place.

    In a “why do we as a society not provide appropriate care and education on this matter” type of way, or a “why are teen girls having sex” type way?

  150. 150
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    I think people are thinking about girls who get raped by their father/stepfather/uncle who might have a hard time getting people to believe them. (In one of the Penn State threads, someone had a statistic that molestation victims tell adults something like six or seven times before anyone believes them.) So the thinking is that they should have the option to protect themselves from pregnancy while they try to get someone to believe them.

    That’s why I keep referring to this as a conflict between the needs of the many vs. the needs of the few. The many are the 14 to 16 year olds who would be the most common underage users because of condom breakage, etc. The few are the very young girls who might need to protect themselves because the adults in their lives aren’t protecting them.

    ETA: Think of it this way — if you get into a car accident and you’re bleeding, do you try to stop the bleeding on the scene, or do you wait until you get to the hospital where the experts can do it? For these girls, Plan B would be first aid to keep their really bad situation from turning into a really horrible situation.

  151. 151
    eemom says:

    @Paula:

    But this cavalier attitude about a wider access to a pill on an untested population is creepy as fuck.

    The cavalier pretense to expertise on topics like teen rape or in cest, and what an 11 year old girl in that horrifying situation would or would not be likely or able to do, is even creepier.

    Last night we had all kinds of these experts crawling out of the woodwork to insist on their absolute certainty that the very best thing society can do for those children is give them access to those pills, NO MATTER WHAT, because shut up that’s why — and anyone who disagreed was tarred as a sicko who was advocating teen pregnancy.

    I personally don’t want to hear any more on the topic of child rape or in cest from anyone who doesn’t have serious credentials to know what the fuck they are talking about.

  152. 152
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Karen:

    But I don’t think it’s “anti-women” to not feel comfortable with the thought of having a young teenager have access to an OTC Plan B pill.

    If a young teenager wants access to an OTC Plan B pill, it’s because she’s concerned she might be pregnant. If she is actually pregnant and doesn’t get access, there are two results: (a) she gets an abortion, or (b) she carries the baby to term. Right? Miscarriage aside, those are the only two realistic end scenarios.

    Call me crazy, but I’m far less comfortable with the thought of a young teenager either having an abortion or enduring a nine-month pregnancy and giving birth, than I am with the thought of that same teenager having easy access to safe, effective medication. You may not feel “comfortable” with the access, but are you really more comfortable with the other two options.

    At least with abortion, it’s done under the care of a doctor.

    You know why? It’s an invasive medical procedure! You’d really rather a young teenager have an abortion than take a pill? This is like saying I’m far more comfortable with having open-heart surgery than taking an aspirin every day, because at least the surgery is done under the care of a doctor….

  153. 153
    chopper says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    sebelius didn’t give any particular justification for why HHS’s concerns should trump some people at the FDA? i could have sworn she did.

  154. 154
    Paula says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Well, off the top of my head, I remember Accutane and Avandia in recent years. The FDA approved their use for acne and diabetes respectively and later restricted their recommended use because severe side effects were discovered after extended use. Like, severe emotional changes leading to suicide; heart failure. (Also, wasn’t the Avandia lawsuit settled only recently?)

    For something birth control-specific, there was the controversy over Yasmin. Allegedly, the company that made Yasmin (Bayer) hid data from the FDA regarding the dangers of blood clots.

    There’s also the idea that something that is OTC is not effective or even entirely safe for children and young people even if used according to instructions. The FDA also recently ruled that OTC cold medicines (available for a very long time) are now too risky for children under 2.

    I don’t really see what’s so goddamn strange about the point I’m trying to make here. This is the page for the FDA’s 2011 Safety Alerts:

    http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedW.....238512.htm

    And it’s not because the FDA some evil organization. They are subject to the same industry lobbyists that most gov’t orgs are. They have blind spots when it comes to researching certain populations. They are not all-seeing.

  155. 155
    chopper says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    as i mentioned before, things with nicotine, cough medicine with DXM (and i think some other ones), ephedrine and epinephrine based meds such as OTC asthma inhalers, pseudoephedrine, let’s see…

    personally, as i’ve mentioned before, all the comparisons to tylenol make me think that i don’t think 11 year olds should be buying and dosing that shit either without any adult supervision. that goes for most everything OTC.

  156. 156
    TooManyJens says:

    @Brachiator:

    Would you really want a teen to just go to a farmacia instead of to the police in the case of rape?

    Obviously not, but then again I am not the one framing everything as an either/or. I would like anyone who is raped to have access to both justice and whatever contraceptive, anti-infection, and/or counseling resources they might need. FUCKING OBVIOUSLY. Now could somebody, anybody, who puts forth this argument please explain why they think a girl who is not otherwise inclined/able to go to a doctor or the police is made more inclined/able to do so by not being able to get EC without a prescription?

  157. 157
    Rafer Janders says:

    @B W Smith:

    The question for me is not whether making Plan B available for younger girls is medically safe, but is it effective. Part of that effectiveness is how many in the group would actually follow through with using it and using it correctly.

    Well, luckily for you, your question has already been asked and answered:

    But the FDA examined this issue, among others. As Maggie Fox of National Journal reported on Wednesday, Teva, the drug’s manufacturer, had provided the FDA with studies on 11- to 16-year-olds. “The FDA based its decision on years of data about adolescent health,” says Stanford University’s Lee Sanders, a pediatrician and leading scholar on health literacy. “That includes research on the specific question of how adolescents will use contraception.”

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonath…..traception

  158. 158
    chopper says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    so the data’s from the drug company. that’s nice.

  159. 159
    Brachiator says:

    @Corner Stone: RE: But part of the background to this is why teen girls needed access to Plan B in the first place.

    In a “why do we as a society not provide appropriate care and education on this matter” type of way, or a “why are teen girls having sex” type way?

    Both. Neither.

    When I got into heavy iPod use, I was downloading a number of audio podcasts to keep me going on a long commute. One of the most fascinating was a short series of podcasts by the college age daughter of tech guy Leo Laporte. Very sensitive stuff on teen issues.

    One was about how many upscale teen girls, because of a stubborn refusal to consider their own best interest, or because of peer pressure, or because they felt they owed a duty to persistent boyfriends, or because of other factors, including coercion and violence engaged in risky sexual activity. And despite concerned liberal parents. And despite sex education.

    Ah, the episode may still be available for listening, Sex, Drugs, And Choices The professional educator she interviewed as part of this show, Charis Denison, spoke with sensitivity and wisdom about the inadequacy of a lot of sexual education programs, which sometime focus on disease and hard facts, but not the reality of world of many teens.

    I passed info about the episode to friends and family with teen boys and girls and said to some, if you are uncomfortable discussing sex, you might consider listening to this and then deciding whether to pass it along to your kids.

    Some of the Balloon Juice comments here and elsewhere sound as though people forget (or lie) about what things were like when they were kids, create idealized situations to justify their ideological preferences, or just believe that the widest possible availability to birth control options (even if there is not practical access) is good enough to deal with whatever pops up.

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think people are thinking about girls who get raped by their father/stepfather/uncle who might have a hard time getting people to believe them. (In one of the Penn State threads, someone had a statistic that molestation victims tell adults something like six or seven times before anyone believes them.) So the thinking is that they should have the option to protect themselves from pregnancy while they try to get someone to believe them.

    I understand this, but don’t quite buy it. Nor do I think that wide policy should be based on the worst narrow case people can imagine.

    This kind of thing is a variation of the “think of the children” gambit.

    I also wonder about the actual incidence of condom breakage vs failure to use condoms properly or not at all.

  160. 160
    TooManyJens says:

    @Brachiator:

    or just believe that the widest possible availability to birth control options (even if there is not practical access) is good enough to deal with whatever pops up.

    I call bullshit. Name one person who thinks that’s “good enough to deal with whatever pops up.”

    “Restricted access doesn’t solve anything” =/= “Widespread access solves everything.”

  161. 161
    rb says:

    @FlipYrWhig: More than would have been, is what I mean.

  162. 162
    rb says:

    @Karen: I don’t understand how a teenaged girl would make a smart decision about getting a OTC Plan B pill when they couldn’t make a smart enough decision to use protection in the first place

    Well standard “protection” against rape fails sometimes, you know?

    Jeebus, it’s clear it’s not only the teenagers who have a problem thinking things through.

  163. 163
  164. 164
    rb says:

    @Brachiator: Why are you assuming that these pregnancies are unwanted?

    Because we’re talking about people pursuing plan b? Or is this confusing?

  165. 165
    rb says:

    @Karen: It is a hell of a lot less dangerous than Tylenol. Comparing this to 18 years (!!) of continuous use of hormonal BC is ridiculous.

  166. 166
    rb says:

    Last night we had all kinds of these experts crawling out of the woodwork to insist on their absolute certainty that the very best thing society can do for those children is give them access to those pills

    Actually, zero people said that. But you know, what are facts when there’s namecalling to do?

  167. 167
    Brachiator says:

    @rb: RE: Why are you assuming that these pregnancies are unwanted?

    Because we’re talking about people pursuing plan b? Or is this confusing?

    That wasn’t the context of my question or the interchange that I had with the other poster.

    @TooManyJens:

    Obviously not, but then again I am not the one framing everything as an either/or.

    Not quite my point. I think that those who keep talking about rape in the context of the Plan B decision are making a false argument.

  168. 168
    TooManyJens says:

    @Brachiator: I’ve given up on figuring out what you’re arguing, honestly.

  169. 169
    rb says:

    @Brachiator: You said you were dismayed at the number of teen mothers you see.

    My response is: so why do you want to make it MORE DIFFICULT for teens to prevent unwanted pregnancy?

  170. 170
    eemom says:

    @rb:

    That IS the essence of what some were saying. Give these kids the pills, and if you argue otherwise it makes you a teen pregnancy enabler. That is exactly the accusation that certain assholes were making against General Stuck.

    Go back and read the fucking thing — and don’t forget that “read” encompasses substance and not just words.

  171. 171
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @chopper: Yes, but we’re deep in the weeds at this point. Sebelius was making a small point about instructions. Even she didn’t contend that there were massive health risks or thorny dilemmas about the nature of responsibility and the overarching notion of maturity. But that’s the terrain on which we’re now arguing. The people on these threads who have voiced the most reservations about the ramifications of wider access to Plan B are actually IMHO much more skeptical than even Sebelius has been in her public statements.

  172. 172
    TooManyJens says:

    @eemom: Please refer to my calling of bullshit at #160.

  173. 173
    eemom says:

    @rb:

    My response is: so why do you want to make it MORE DIFFICULT for teens to prevent unwanted pregnancy?

    heh, right on schedule. Tell me again what I was making up about what you said last night…?

    You’re a fucking idiot without a shred of self-awareness.

  174. 174
    rb says:

    @eemom: Bullshit. NO ONE said or implied this: the very best thing society can do for those children is give them access to those pills

    So, on the topic of reading comprehension: take your own advice.

  175. 175
    rb says:

    @eemom: Sigh, please refer to my last comment. Learn to read.

  176. 176
    eemom says:

    @TooManyJens:

    More respectfully in your case, I suggest you go back and read over the comments some were making last night.

    We gotta give them this drug NOW and we’ll worry about the rape and in cest later (yeah, as IF) was the attitude.

  177. 177
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Some FPer should make a post about this decision and how Obama failed to include the Public Option. I bet we could get 1000+ comments, solving nothing.

  178. 178
    eemom says:

    @rb:

    It is a hell of a lot less dangerous than Tylenol. Comparing this to 18 years (!!) of continuous use of hormonal BC is ridiculous.

    You really need to STFU until you explain to us how you are qualified to opine on the effects, long term and otherwise, of the Plan B pill, standard bc pills, OR fucking Tylenol on the human body.

  179. 179
    rb says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Ha!

    But in fairness, I don’t think this conversation breaks down along Obot/firebagger lines.

    The usual suspects start in with the namecalling pretty early, but the teams aren’t necessarily the same.

  180. 180
    not motorik says:

    *taps foot, looks at watch*

    Still no word from ABL on whether it’s racist to think of Obama as a sellout fuck or a misogynist (take your pick).

    It’s probably racist, you guys.

  181. 181
    B W Smith says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m curious to know your credentials for calling my statement “righteous”. I worked with a group of 40 girls for a three year period. I think we built enough rapport and trust for them to feel confident in confiding in me because they did confide in me. I stated my comment was completely anecdotal. So how many years do you and rp have in working with teen moms? How many times have you sat down and spoken with them? Both of you are attacking every concern, so I’m interested to know how you came to such vast knowledge about the maturity and motivation of teen and pre-teen girls.

  182. 182
    LT says:

    @The saddest and most relevant comment on this thread:

    scarshapedstar: Is it healthy for an 11-year-old to give birth?

    100 or so comments later and nobody replied to it.

    No, scarshapedstar, it’s not. It’s quite dangerous, actually, for both the child and the cild, if you get my drift. It’s not the only reason, or the main one, that advocates want Plan B to be OTC, but it is one important one. That’s why the FDA DID study for the ability of 11-year-olds to use Plan B safely, and one of the reasons that this precedent-setting, anti-science move by a Dem admin and president is the mindfuck it is.

  183. 183
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): if Glenn Greenwald wrote about Bradley Manning’s opinion about it, we might be able to hit 1k comments.

  184. 184
    eemom says:

    @rb:

    me:

    and anyone who disagreed was tarred as a sicko who was advocating teen pregnancy.

    you to Brachiator:

    why do you want to make it MORE DIFFICULT for teens to prevent unwanted pregnancy?

    To repeat: you. are. a. fucking. idiot.

  185. 185
    LT says:

    Arg. #182 should read “for both the child and the child.”

  186. 186
    Corner Stone says:

    @B W Smith: What part of your anecdote is relevant to the policy outcome? That some subset of (pre)teen girls had “wanted” pregnancies isn’t germane to the decision to over rule the FDA and maintain the status quo for Plan B.
    It’s an interesting side story, righteously told.

  187. 187
    LT says:

    @eemom:

    You really need to STFU until you explain to us how you are qualified to opine on the effects, long term and otherwise, of the Plan B pill, standard bc pills, OR fucking Tylenol on the human body.

    Hey, you fuck, that is the opinion of actual scientists who work on this stuff. One of the great things about Plan B is how unbelievably safe it is. If every person here saying – really unbelievably – that this was anything but politics, says other OTC drugs such as acetaminophen should be treated the same, then fine. But they’re not, of course, because that’s not what this is about.

    Former FDA assistant commissioner Dr. Susan Wood commented to the New York Times, “Acetaminophen can be fatal, but it’s available to everyone. So why are contraceptives singled out every single time when they’re actually far safer than what’s already out there?” Dr. Wood resigned her FDA position in protest over Bush administration efforts to block Plan B.

  188. 188
    LT says:

    @eemom:

    We gotta give them this drug NOW and we’ll worry about the rape and in cest [sic] later (yeah, as IF) was the attitude.

    You’ve made it quite clear that you are unworthy of actual discussion on this.

    P.S. If a kid gets raped by relative or anyone, I support getting them this drug now. And you can go fuck yourself with razor wire.

  189. 189
    LT says:

    @rb:

    @Brachiator: Why are you assuming that these pregnancies are unwanted?

    WTF?

  190. 190
    LT says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Call me crazy, but I’m far less comfortable with the thought of a young teenager either having an abortion or enduring a nine-month pregnancy and giving birth, than I am with the thought of that same teenager having easy access to safe, effective medication. You may not feel “comfortable” with the access, but are you really more comfortable with the other two options.

    That kind of sense will get you in trouble in these parts!

    And please tell me someone did not actually say this:

    At least with abortion, it’s done under the care of a doctor.

    I’m begging you, man, tell me it didn’t happen. I had to wade through General Stuck’s slime last night – “The girl should not be allowed to terminate the pregnancy, otherwise we won’t know about the rape!” (kill the part of my brain that read that) – so please give me a little hope.

  191. 191
    LT says:

    @ruemara:

    They can’t buy cough medicine without limits, why Plan B?

    Because cough syrup is far, far more dangerous than Plan B.

    But please – you don’t need to actually know anything to opine strongly and surely on this subject – so go ahead!

  192. 192
    rb says:

    @eemom: You really need to STFU until you explain to us how you are qualified to opine on the effects, long term and otherwise, of the Plan B pill, standard bc pills, OR fucking Tylenol on the human body.

    Sigh. Despite earlier commentary and your defensive attitude, I am near certain you can read. The resources are out there.

    As a minimal, scratching-the-surface start:

    Here is the 2003 FDA Medical Officer safety review of plan b for the initial OTC app, obtained from fda.gov. Note the summary of post marketing data.

    Here is the plan b package insert.

    Here is a recent review of the use of acetaminophen, noting that (for instance) there were approximately 140,000 poisonings in US in 2006 alone with 100+ fatalities, and (of particular interest here) an estimated 14% of cases of acute liver failure in children can be attributable to use of acetaminophen. An interesting sentence states: “[Acetaminophen] is responsible for more emergency room visits than any other drug on the market.”

    There is a vast literature on the risks and benefits of daily use hormonal contraceptives in women. See for instance papers out of WHI.

  193. 193
    NR says:

    @Judas Escargot:

    You mean same youth vote that didn’t bother to show up in 2010 (only 11% of voters) because no unicorn was forthcoming the Democrats spent the previous two years enacting Republican policy, thereby enabling the biggest shift in the House in over 50 years?

    FIFY.

  194. 194
    rb says:

    @eemom: OK, keep toting those goalposts up and down the field. I corrected you here, and still you persist.

  195. 195
    Karen says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Did you not read the comment that I had a DVT thanks to birth control so I know those hormones can be dangerous? I had a Deep Vein Thrombosis which is a really, really bad blood clot in my leg. I had to be hospitalized for five days so the blood thinner they had to inject into my stomach and IV would work. Then I had to learn how to walk again and had to take Coumadin for 8 months.

    I admit, I was obese, which is a contributing factor. But can you imagine what would happen if a 14 year old girl, who smokes (one factor) and is obese?

  196. 196
    rb says:

    @LT: At least with abortion, it’s done under the care of a doctor.

    Oh god. I call IMBS on this. (It Must Be Satire.)

  197. 197
    Karen says:

    @LT:

    At least with abortion, it’s done under the care of a doctor.

    Don’t blame Rafer for that, blame me. I’ve never had an abortion, are you telling me that it’s not a surgical procedure?

  198. 198
    Karen says:

    LOOK.

    I’m the one who said with abortion it’s with a doctor. If it isn’t, mea culpa, I had no idea. I’ve never had an abortion.

    I have been on birth control. I have had a blood clot and been in danger of a pulmonary embolism because of it. That is the only experience that I can speak to.

    But don’t start saying I want girls to be raped or that I’m anti woman because I worry about the side effects on teenaged girls. I care about teenaged girls possibly getting strokes. And just because the FDA says it’s safe, the FDA said a lot of things were safe.

    They weren’t.

  199. 199
    Brachiator says:

    @rb: RE: You said you were dismayed at the number of teen mothers you see.

    My response is: so why do you want to make it MORE DIFFICULT for teens to prevent unwanted pregnancy?

    The issue of pregnant teens, some of whom want to be mothers, is part of a larger question about teen values and effective sex education.

    In this context, your question about my possibly wanting to make it “more difficult for teens dealing with unwanted pregnancies” is weird and irrelevant.

  200. 200
    rb says:

    @Paula: I am sympathetic to this perspective. I just think that it’s an argument to restrict a lot more drugs than currently are restricted. But no one is making that argument, which moves one to wonder what about plan b is so special.

  201. 201
    TooManyJens says:

    @Karen: I’m very sorry about what you went through. I’ve had bad experiences with the pill myself; it contributes to my depression. That’s why I’m very wary of the prescription of regular hormonal birth control to minors without their parents’ knowledge. With regular use, there is a real health concern.

    However, it must be noted that a one-time dose of EC, or even a few instances of EC over the course of a person’s life, is not at all the same as continually taking the pill for years and years. Like I said in the other thread, if it were the same thing, I would have been certifiable for allowing the doctors to give my daughter a steroid shot when she had croup as a baby.

    There’s really no reason to believe anyone will use EC as their primary form of birth control. Theoretically, someone could, but the cost and unpleasant side effects make it unlikely.

  202. 202
    LT says:

    @Karen:

    Karen, you’re the person who said you’d prefer kids get an abortion rather than Plan B – because at least there’s a doctor present!

    You also said this:

    I don’t understand how a teenaged girl would make a smart decision about getting a OTC Plan B pill when they couldn’t make a smart enough decision to use protection in the first place.

    Because you believe, apparently that there is no such thing as rape.

    Nothing you say – and I mean that if you said that you once took Plan B and it not only gave you ten different types of cancer, but it also gave you and all your relatives leprosy, and made everyone within fifty miles of you join al Qaeda – it still would not count at all in this discussion. You’ve lost all rights as a commenter.

  203. 203
    Karen says:

    @LT:

    I believe there is rape you sanctimonious bastard.

    I also believe that the majority of the girls who would be taking this drug would not be as a result of rape.

    And to tell me I’ve lost all rights as a commenter? Because I say something you don’t agree with? Really?

    And YES my experiences do count! I’m not saying don’t have it available. I’m saying that it should be under the care of a doctor!

    What the fuck is wrong with that?!

    Let’s say fine, the girl is raped and takes the drug. What happens if she does have a bad reaction? What responsibility does the drug company have?

    Also, I was a teenaged girl. I know they don’t always make the smartest decisions. Or the most informed decisions. And you know damned well that I’m not talking about rape victims here. I’m talking about a 16 year old who has had sex before but didn’t use any protection because she thought she’d never get pregnant.

    If you can’t tell the difference then you have a problem.

  204. 204
    LT says:

    @Karen:

    You don’t know that abortion of the type you suggested as better than Plan B (“Choose abortion! Like amputation – there’s always a doctor present!”) is a surgical procedure done by a doctor?

    I don’t even know what to say.

  205. 205
    LT says:

    @Karen:

    You believe there is such a thing as rape yet you say this:

    I don’t understand how a teenaged girl would make a smart decision about getting a OTC Plan B pill when they couldn’t make a smart enough decision to use protection in the first place.

  206. 206
    LT says:

    @rb: I should just back out slowly, I think.

    EDIT: Oh Jesus, horrible pun not intended.

  207. 207
    rb says:

    @Brachiator: My feeling is: having access to plan b makes it easier to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Its absence makes it more difficult. These are just literal statements about what it does.

    It can be considered in that light and need not be freighted with the larger (and red-herring-filled) universe of “teen values.” Your initial concern was about the number of teen mothers you observe. Well, surely some of them did not want to become mothers at the time. (Incidentally, with others’ mischaracterizations aside, no one is arguing that plan b is “the very best” strategy for dealing with the entire issue of “teen values” or teen motherhood or (for gods sake) pregnant children in general.)

    We are saying: it is an emergency tool that does a known thing. Making it harder to get has a direct effect.

  208. 208
    rb says:

    @TooManyJens: There’s really no reason to believe anyone will use EC as their primary form of birth control. Theoretically, someone could, but the cost and unpleasant side effects make it unlikely

    This is an understatement. It’s $50 a pill!

  209. 209
    B W Smith says:

    @Corner Stone: Fair enough, I wrote it because there were multiple references to unwanted pregnancies in the lower end of the age range, as if all the pregnancies were unintentional. Not all are. The numbers are even lower for pregnancies from rape and in*cest in that age group. In fact the number for all pregnancies in the below 15 age group is about 3 per 1000. In the 15-17 age group, it’s about 43 per 1000. With the advent of abstinence only education, those numbers have been creeping back up since the low in 2004.

    I do wish that 17 had not been the cutoff, I think 15 would have made much more sense, just statistically. But that’s just me, looking at non-scientific, anecdotal things like maturity level. As a mother and as one who has worked with the population being discussed, I think girls from 9-14 are still girls in many ways. Plan B addresses the immediate symptom, but does nothing for the overall problem. If a 13 year old is having unprotected sex, the problem is much deeper than taking two pills can resolve. That’s why medical help should be sought.

    Finally, I would and I think most liberals would be outraged if conservatives wanted to put guns in the hands of 9-14 year-olds with no training or supervision. I would be making the same argument about maturity. Of course, I’m sure that has no policy relevance either.

  210. 210
    rb says:

    @Karen: I’m talking about a 16 year old who has had sex before but didn’t use any protection because she thought she’d never get pregnant.

    OK, so. There are two potential issues here. The first instance is she had sex, it’s unprotected, later she discovers she’s pregnant. Plan b is irrelevant here. It is not RU-486.

    The other scenario is she has unprotected sex, and then panics the next day. Well, in that case I would want plan b to be available.

    Having unprotected sex was a dumb move, sure. No reason to compound it with an unwanted pregnancy.

    The objection seems to be: but if girls know it’s available, they’ll abuse it. There is no reason to believe this. It costs $50. It makes you nauseous. It’s not foolproof. While kids do do dumb things, the pharmacy simply isn’t going to be overrun with girls taking plan b multiple times a week at the rate of like $600 / month.

  211. 211
    Paula says:

    @rb:

    Well, it wasn’t until people started making the “Plan B is safer than Tylenol” argument that I thought — well, Tylenol isn’t fucking safe either! FFS, I was in HIGH SCHOOL and I got really sick. Because I was already lightheaded and weak, I wasn’t paying attention to the amount of doses I was taking. I came close to exceeding the recommended count within a six-hour period and was pretty much out of my head when my mother came home to find me and stop me from taking the medicine for the rest of the day.

    I’m lucky in that I don’t have a chronic illness or aches/pains that require me to take even OTC meds, which is why I’m extremely wary of all meds unless they are specifically prescribed for me. And even then I’ve had bad reactions.

    But mostly, the BC pill is not a happy pill with no effects on anything. It changes your cycle. It affects you over a period of time. How much so for young women whose bodies are still developing?

    Developing options that don’t involve large doses of hormones and/or outpatient doctor procedures is a feminist issue as well, as is the development of male contraception that is between the extremes of 1)buying condoms and 2)getting a vasectomy. Quite beyond the Plan B ruling, I have been really appalled by the attitude in these forums that all women of childbearing ability should be saddled with the primary responsibility of their sexual care without paying attention to long term affects just because it takes care of a problem in the short term.

    I know that pregnancy at an early age is not ideal, but neither is it ideal to subject young people to untested medicines that might affect their future fertility or overall health. We have all sorts of studies that speak to the effects that early exposure to harmful materials could cause problems well into adulthood. I don’t see why erring on the side of caution and asking for adult/older teen supervision (WHICH IS NOT THE SAME AS PARENTAL CONSENT) with something like Plan B makes me so in the wrong.

  212. 212
    TooManyJens says:

    Quite beyond the Plan B ruling, I have been really appalled by the attitude in these forums that all women of childbearing ability should be saddled with the primary responsibility of their sexual care without paying attention to long term affects just because it takes care of a problem in the short term.

    I’d be appalled by that too, if it were happening.

  213. 213
    Paula says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Whatever.

  214. 214
    LT says:

    @Paula:

    but neither is it ideal to subject young people to untested medicines that might affect their future fertility or overall health

    It is beyond frustrating that little bombs of dishonesty and/or stupidity like this are 1) made at all; and 2) by people who seem otherwise smart and reasonable.

    You can make whatever argument you like about whether they were tested enough (since I’m sure you’re as qualified as FDA scientists on the subject), but to call it “untested”? What the fuck? Why, Paula, do you do this? And why do you think that someone reading these comments should take anything you say seriously after this?

    Add: I wonder if people have any idea how long Plan B has been around. Sure seems like many here think it was just invented.

  215. 215
    rb says:

    @Paula Developing options that don’t involve large doses of hormones and/or outpatient doctor procedures is a feminist issue as well, as is the development of male contraception that is between the extremes of 1)buying condoms and 2)getting a vasectomy.

    Hear hear.

    Happily there have been developments on both fronts, though the latter is freighted with tons of baggage.

    But this specific topic is about emergency BC and it’s frustrating to have that conflated with routine, long-term use.

    Quite beyond the Plan B ruling, I have been really appalled by the attitude in these forums that all women of childbearing ability should be saddled with the primary responsibility of their sexual care without paying attention to long term affects just because it takes care of a problem in the short term.

    Well … yes, that is always an undertone. This is true everywhere, I’d argue.

    I’m not sure (if this is what you are saying) how arguing for the availability of plan b accrues to this argument, however; again I am differentiating between emergency and routine BC. If there were a male equivalent I would be arguing just as vehemently that it should be made available.

    I know that pregnancy at an early age is not ideal, but neither is it ideal to subject young people to untested medicines that might affect their future fertility or overall health.

    Truth (I would quibble with ‘untested’, but assume that you are referring to other drugs that were thought safe but turned out not to be; ie the existing testing could be flawed). This is the exact phrasing I used in the other thread. It is *not ideal.* But neither is the situation this hypothetical person is in. The state of the science is, by my reading, that the potential consequences of use are outweighed by the potential adverse consequences of non-use, particularly if it’s a one time thing.

    I don’t see why erring on the side of caution and asking for adult/older teen supervision (WHICH IS NOT THE SAME AS PARENTAL CONSENT) with something like Plan B makes me so in the wrong.

    For myself, I simply question the assumed availability of a a trusted adult or teen (not only that this person is available, but that the girl in question has to FEEL he/she is available; the power of slut shaming is vast), not to mention their ability to rapidly acquire a prescription, etc. Moreover some people are arguing that teens can’t make decisions for themselves as regards plan b, whereas others seem to be saying that teens can supervise the use of plan b by younger girls.

  216. 216
    Brachiator says:

    @rb:

    It can be considered in that light and need not be freighted with the larger (and red-herring-filled) universe of “teen values.” Your initial concern was about the number of teen mothers you observe. Well, surely some of them did not want to become mothers at the time.

    I pretty much spelled out my concerns in my longer post to Corner Stone at @159.

    To suggest that wider access to Plan B by underage girls is just about minimizing unwanted pregnancies and also not about teen values is odd.

    @B W Smith:

    If a 13 year old is having unprotected sex, the problem is much deeper than taking two pills can resolve. That’s why medical help should be sought.

    Totally agree with you here.

  217. 217
    Paula says:

    @LT:

    Look, asshole, you keep repeating this bit like it means the end of the argument, but if you look at the released statement that everyone keeps quoting, it says the the drug company Teva, NOT THE FUCKING FDA, provided the data. And as of now, I have yet to find anyone who will give me specific numbers, like 2 doses over a 4 week period or some such, that forms guidelines for what might be accepted dosage for young teens.

    EDIT: Yes Plan B has been around for years. It’s high dosage birth control. You can’t get regular dose BC w/o a prescription because of the side effects. There’s a possibility that teens will use Plan B more than once or twice. Why is it so weird to be wary of them being able to use it without telling anyone?

  218. 218
    Karen says:

    What is the difference between Plan B and RU-486?

  219. 219
    TooManyJens says:

    @B W Smith:

    Finally, I would and I think most liberals would be outraged if conservatives wanted to put guns in the hands of 9-14 year-olds with no training or supervision. I would be making the same argument about maturity. Of course, I’m sure that has no policy relevance either.

    This has been an amazing couple of threads.

    @Karen: Plan B is taken ASAP after intercourse and prevents fertilization. RU-486 is taken at 5-7 weeks of gestation. It kills the embryo, and is usually administered along with a prostaglandin that induces expulsion.

  220. 220
    rb says:

    @Paula: it says the the drug company Teva, NOT THE FUCKING FDA, provided the data

    The pivotal trials are by Teva, but there is a lot of postmarketing data as well that has been subject to FDA review.

    It is fair to say that data could be wrong. But it is pretty strong: i.e., like, literally zero cardiovascular events associated with plan b use.

  221. 221
    LT says:

    @Paula: It is nothing short of the complete end of your “untested” argument.

    And it is just hilarious, sad, weird, that you feel complete comfort assuming the role of more qualified than FDA scientists. How do you expect to not be laughed at for that?

    Add: and you have no fucking idea how FDA testing works – obviously – so you should really stop digging.

  222. 222
    LT says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Finally, I would and I think most liberals would be outraged if conservatives wanted to put guns in the hands of 9-14 year-olds with no training or supervision.

    The reason this comment is so true, relevant, and conversation-ending is because Plan B pills explode when exposed to saliva. Or air.

  223. 223
    Paula says:

    @LT:

    I’m sorry I’m wary of data provided by drug companies directly to the government. I’m sorry sensitivity to most medicine makes me pro-child pregnancy. I’m sorry that my general tendency to tell people to monitor what they regularly put in their body makes me anti-FDA.

    Asshole.

  224. 224
    Corner Stone says:

    @B W Smith:

    Finally, I would and I think most liberals would be outraged if conservatives wanted to put guns in the hands of 9-14 year-olds with no training or supervision. I would be making the same argument about maturity. Of course, I’m sure that has no policy relevance either.

    It does not.

  225. 225
    LT says:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/pol.....-b/249777/

    My objection was to the process and rationale for this decision.
    __
    The FDA panel was made of scientists who are presumed competent to weigh risks and tradeoffs like those the readers mention. I do not believe that Kathleen Sebelius — for all her appeal as a politician and effectiveness as Secretary of HHS — has technical standing to question the scientific basis for the panel’s recommendation. But that was her purported reason for overruling it: that there wasn’t enough evidence on certain points. If she had simply said that she understood the scientific argument for the recommendation, but that for cultural, ethical, personal, social-policy, or other reasons she could not approve it, that would have been different. Then you could agree or disagree with her decision, but you could not complain about her standing to make the choice she did.

  226. 226
    LT says:

    @Paula:

    “I’m sorry sensitivity to most medicine makes me pro-child pregnancy.”

    it doesn’t. I don’t think that.

    “I’m sorry that my general tendency to tell people to monitor what they regularly put in their body makes me anti-FDA.”

    I don’t think that either. It’s not what I said or implied. You can go back and read what I said, and reply to it, if you like.

  227. 227
    TooManyJens says:

    @LT:

    The reason this comment is so true, relevant, and conversation-ending is because Plan B pills explode when exposed to saliva.

    Well, that would keep you from getting pregnant.

  228. 228
    LT says:

    Another thoughtful article on the subject:

    Unfortunately, this hysteria is a smokescreen that has obscured the real issue: women need better access to this safe, effective and vitally important medication.

  229. 229
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    Finally, I would and I think most liberals would be outraged if conservatives wanted to put guns in the hands of 9-14 year-olds with no training or supervision. I would be making the same argument about maturity. Of course, I’m sure that has no policy relevance either.

    I tried to look up the stats on murders and accidental homicides committed using Plan B as a weapon, but I couldn’t find them! I think maybe it’s a coverup by the MSM. Can you point me toward those stats, Smith?

  230. 230
    B W Smith says:

    @Corner Stone: Just so I get this straight, the only thing that has policy relevance in your eyes is the finding of the FDA? If they are cool with it and say it is safe, then place that stuff right next to condoms and go for it. After all, the FDA is always correct in their recommendations.

  231. 231
    Paula says:

    @LT:

    FWIW, this stopped being a conversation about women’s health a while ago and turned into yet another zero-sum BJ bitch-fest. And I got sucked in only because trying to find non-chemical birth control options is something that concerns my friends and I and I forgot that no one actually cares about nuance out in blog-land.

  232. 232
    LT says:

    @B W Smith:

    Bouncing from implying that Plan B is as dangerous as guns – you really, actually did that – to “So scientists are always right – is that it?” makes you look dumb.

  233. 233
    LT says:

    @Paula:

    And I got sucked in only because trying to find non-chemical birth control options is something that concerns my friends and I and I forgot that no one actually cares about nuance out in blog-land.

    You have to explain how that relates in any way to the job the FDA had to do in regards to Plan B.

  234. 234
    Paula says:

    @LT:

    Again, check the release. Find me a statement, anywhere, that says the FDA has given specific guidelines for the number of dosages that are safe for a teenager to take within a given period of time. Two, four pills? In 2, 3, 4 weeks? Or is is 2 pills in 1 year? 5 pills in 1 week?

  235. 235
    LT says:

    And because so many people here – you included – have abstracted this issue so far from the actual and very real women’s health issue it is is exactly why this is a very depressing ruling, and also why I posted the link at comment #228.

  236. 236
    Paula says:

    @LT:

    Yes, because sensitivity to drugs is a fake issue.

  237. 237
    B W Smith says:

    @LT: And paraphrasing another’s comments to fit your argument makes you completely disingenuous. I said neither thing and you know it. Damn, some of you will say anything to keep up the pretense that your view is the only correct one.

  238. 238
    Corner Stone says:

    @B W Smith:

    Just so I get this straight, the only thing that has policy relevance in your eyes is the finding of the FDA? If they are cool with it and say it is safe, then place that stuff right next to condoms and go for it. After all, the FDA is always correct in their recommendations.

    You first discussed anecdotal info regarding “wanted” pregnancies. You then closed out a whopper of a comment by somehow linking the policy outcome of Plan B to not caring about children having guns (?!). Now you’re playing the rightwing “can’t trust the government!” as some sort of gambit gotcha.
    I’m really not sure what you’re doing, but none of it has any relevance to the HHS decision to over rule the FDA’s findings and maintain the status quo for Plan B.

  239. 239
    LT says:

    @Paula:

    Find me a statement, anywhere, that says the FDA has given specific guidelines for the number of dosages that are safe for a teenager to take within a given period of time. Two, four pills? In 2, 3, 4 weeks? Or is is 2 pills in 1 year? 5 pills in 1 week?

    How can I not get the impression that if that info was supplied to you you would not simply move on to something else? Because it’s not about this specific thing – it’s about you, I don’t know, not believing that FDA scientists are qualified? I just don’t know what’s driving you.

    Did you make this big of a fuss when other drugs were ruled okay for OTC?

  240. 240
    LT says:

    @Paula:

    Yes, because sensitivity to drugs is a fake issue.

    No, your acting like the FDA doesn’t take drug-sensiitivity into account is a fake issue.

  241. 241
    Paula says:

    @LT:

    Asshole, I already made several comments about my own sensitivity to drugs, OTC and prescription. Yes, I make a fucking fuss about Tylenol when I actually had a bad reaction to multiple doses at one point. Do you want to hear about the time my prescription to a popular oral treatment for a skin problem made me break out in hives for 2 weeks? Or how about the time even taking doctor-recommended supplements wreaked havoc on my digestive system?

    Again, Asshole, I’m sorry the fact that some people’s bodies, including my own, don’t respond well to medicine despite the fact that the FDA deems them safe. Apparently they are the last fucking word on all medical matters.

  242. 242
    Paula says:

    @LT:

    Shorter you: I don’t actually have that information.

  243. 243
    LT says:

    @Paula:

    One more time: No, your acting like the FDA doesn’t take drug-sensiitivity into account is a fake issue.

  244. 244
    not motorik says:

    All of the racists here claiming that the Obama administration acted out of something other than pure concern for the welfare of young women are super-ultra-racist, and should be ashamed of themselves.

  245. 245
    Paula says:

    @LT:

    Where do they take it into account? Where do they say, “we tested x doses on girls age 11-15 and found x effects. We therefore recommend that no more than x doses be taken in an x period of time.”

  246. 246
    LT says:

    @Paula:

    They sent it i a personal letter to you. It just hasn’t arrived yet.

    P.S. Wow. You are an actual living example of IT REALLY IS ALL ABOUT ME. It’s weird. Chilling.

  247. 247
    LT says:

    @not motorik: Ahem. They have a front-pager for that.

  248. 248
    B W Smith says:

    @Corner Stone: And you have not answered a single question that I have asked of you. How do I not trust government? It is very well documented that the FDA has made mistakes in the past. Whether Sebelius is correct in her questioning or not, she, too, is part of the government. If my memory of your past posts serves correctly, you do not always trust government either, only when you agree with it do I see your love of it. The only argument I was making about guns was in reference to the maturity level of the users and the arguments we liberals would be making. I have previously explained my anecdote, I’m sorry it didn’t pass muster with your highly intelligent process for what is and isn’t germane.
    So please inform me, what do you consider germane to this policy discussion, since you are now the official arbiter?

  249. 249
    LT says:

    Wow.

    The Union of Concerned Scientists published a statement yesterday on their website decrying the HHS decision—and Obama’s support of it—as an attack not only on reproductive rights but also on sound science.

  250. 250
    Paula says:

    @LT:

    Again, I highly doubt that your work on these threads are coming from a deep well of concern for young women. Clearly the FDA rules all and is infallible.

  251. 251
    LT says:

    “Secretary Sebelius, a non-scientist, overruled the conclusions of an independent scientific panel that arrived at its decision after careful analysis and consideration of the data. Plan B is considered safe for over-the-counter use not only by FDA scientists and advisors but also by countless esteemed medical associations, from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the American Medical Association.
    __
    “The secretary’s decision undermines the ability of FDA to make drug approval decisions based on the best available science. The president’s support for the secretary’s decision is unfortunate, as it is inconsistent with his own March 2009 memorandum on scientific integrity.

  252. 252
    LT says:

    @Paula:

    Again, I highly doubt that your work on these threads are coming from a deep well of concern for young women. Clearly the FDA rules all and is infallible.

  253. 253
    Paula says:

    Hey look everyone, LT’s gonna do the “I’m rubber, you’re glue!” thing!

  254. 254
    LT says:

    @Paula:

    Again, I highly doubt that your work on these threads are coming from a deep well of concern for young women.

    Based on what?

  255. 255
    LT says:

    @Paula: Um, Paula, I know you think evreyone’s got to sink down to your level, but that was an accidental posting before I finished. I’d already requested deletion before I even saw your inane response.

  256. 256
    Corner Stone says:

    @B W Smith: Your questions of me are not germane to the discussion of the policy outcome.

  257. 257
    Keith G says:

    @B W Smith:

    It is very well documented that the FDA has made mistakes in the past.

    Indeed they have. And may I assume that is why you are against measles vaccinations?

  258. 258
    B W Smith says:

    @Corner Stone: Now, you are being disingenuous and condescending, as usual. So I will ask again, what is germane to the policy outcome? Is it only the FDA recommendation? Should the Secretary have no ability to question or disagree with the recommendation? If her disagreement was for purely political reasons or moral reasons, I think she should say so. The president seemed to indicate that he supported her decision but did not actively support the science question. He seemed to be saying he agreed as a father.
    I view your role as the Statler and Waldorf of Balloon Juice. Always there with the condescending quip and ready with a torpedo to silence those not up to your standards. But other than that, I fail to see what makes your standards more highly rated than those of others. Disclaimer: of course, that’s just my irrelevant opinion.

  259. 259
    B W Smith says:

    @Keith G: I’m not against vaccines, I’m not against the FDA. But I do love how you and your buddies love to create imaginary arguments to discuss. Let me try: I can only assume that you think it is a-ok for children to decide on their own to go out and get vaccines. Besides, I have it on good authority that your supposition is not germane to the argument

  260. 260
    Corner Stone says:

    @B W Smith: Stop trying to spin this into an alternate universe. You want to get deep into the weeds and have some kind of dick measuring contest.
    Is it somehow relevant that I’ve never worked in a program that serves pregnant teens? Does that in any way change the scope of the policy outcome? Does it matter that I agree with some governmental decisions and disagree with others? Does that change the scope of the policy outcome?

  261. 261
    Corner Stone says:

    @B W Smith:

    But I do love how you and your buddies love to create imaginary arguments to discuss.

    That is, in fact, all you have done this entire thread.

  262. 262
    LT says:

    @B W Smith:

    not up to your standards

    Not up to ANY standards, BW. Any that any reasonable people would agree on.

    Just wanted that to be clear.

  263. 263
    LT says:

    @Corner Stone:

    But I do love how you and your buddies love to create imaginary arguments to discuss.

    You mean ones like where you imply Plan B is the safety equivalent of a gun?

  264. 264
    B W Smith says:

    @Corner Stone: Sorry, no dick. I really don’t care about the size of yours. Honestly, I don’t and never will give a rat’s ass whether I meet any of your standards, cause not you, LT, or Keith G meet mine. I intentionally skipped the previous thread on this because I took a look to see how it was going. But the simple question of what is germane to the policy outcome has been my over-riding question. Is it just the science? If you can’t answer that, then what good are you? So I bid you a good night, Statler. Or is it Waldorf?

  265. 265
    Djur says:

    Plan B is a large dose of hormones.

    Do you know what also results in a much longer-term dose of high hormones? Pregnancy.

    I have yet to read a single argument that the FDA is wrong on the safety issues here other than “it just seems wrong”. If anyone has a single study, a single expert’s testimony, etc. that Plan B is dangerous for minors, I think we’d have seen it by now.

    @eemom: I must have misread him then:

    But again, how will not getting pregnant stop the rape from continuing? There is a thing called abortion that is still legal in this country, and an ideal way to demonstrate that a heinous crime is being committed at the same time. you got whacky logic, dude.

    General Stuck: Abortion is an ideal way to demonstrate that child rape has occurred. An ideal way.

    I see your point, but again, how likely is it that the rape will be discovered and stopped, if the young girl has the ability to get plan b on her own volition, or that she isn’t and doesn’t and becomes pregnant, that will most likely make evident as to what is happening.

    General Stuck: Plan B will keep the girl from getting pregnant, which is bad, because getting pregnant will make it evident that child rape is occurring.

    I know General Stuck is your best buddy because you love fighting the endless hordes of hateful firebaggers together, but you should really stop short of overt fabrication. Maybe just don’t post if the only thing you can post is a lie.

  266. 266
    B W Smith says:

    @LT: You can infer whatever you like from my statement. That is not the argument I was making.

  267. 267
    LT says:

    @B W Smith:

    Tell us what you expected us to infer from your statement:

    Finally, I would and I think most liberals would be outraged if conservatives wanted to put guns in the hands of 9-14 year-olds with no training or supervision.

    Was it not your intention to have some kind of equivalence between guns and Plan B by making that statement? Of course it was. And I tell you in no uncertain terms – that is really, really not smart. Plan B is remarkable PRIMARILY because it is so fucking safe. That, again, makes your attempt to equate it with “pu[ting] guns in the hands of 9-14 year-olds with no training or supervision” really, really not smart.

    If you would just admit that – that you were not aware of how safe Plan B is – we could move on.

  268. 268
    rb says:

    @Djur Do you know what also results in a much longer-term dose of high hormones? Pregnancy

    Djur, this is a very valuable point. But for whatever reason this line of argument gets no traction here. The unwanted pregnancy in question must be treated as something that simply won’t happen, of little consequence; only the potential adverse consequences of plan b itself can be assumed and commented upon.

    Deviating from this unwritten rule means you are cruelly accusing people of being “pro child pregnancy,” as opposed to pointing out that that the HHS decision has obvious implications for the likelihood of child/teen pregnancy. And that attack, thus attributed to you, shall not stand. You fucking asshole.

  269. 269
    LT says:

    @Djur:

    Do you know what also results in a much longer-term dose of high hormones? Pregnancy.

    KaBOOM.

  270. 270
    LT says:

    @rb:

    You fucking asshole.

    I just wanted to say that, in general.

  271. 271
    Keith G says:

    @B W Smith:

    I can only assume that you think it is a-ok for children to decide on their own to go out and get vaccines.

    I don’t.

    While nothing is perfect, I do trust our public health officials when straight forward science and research is involved. Some individuals have allergic reaction to components of some vaccines. Therefore medical supervisionis advised.

    After years of use and even more years of study, no such issues have been found with Plan B. I amazed that some are making it up as they go along as they plead “We just don’t know”, “We can’t be sure” and “They might be lying”.

    Look, if one wants to argue morality, fine. I will disagree, but I understand the concept of differing moral foundations and I would appreciate the honesty.

  272. 272
    B W Smith says:

    @LT: That actually had nothing to do with the safety of the drug. I have absolutely no problem with making the drug available to women/girls that have reached an age of some maturity. I even stated in a previous comment that it actually makes more sense to me based on published statistics to lower the age to 15. The comment was to illustrate that maturity matters. I have worked with girls as young as 11,12,and 13. Many of them had no clue about the results of having sex, never mind thinking about how to evade the consequences within a prescribed number of days. Considering that the drug even if taken perfectly has a 50-75% success rate, without any medical intervention, they could remain pregnant and not know it.

    Perhaps the analogy was inartful, but it was not stupid. I was trying to think of something that conservatives may actually support. As liberals, we cannot argue maturity level for an outcome that we think is bad (kids with guns, unsupervised or insert any other thing that conservatives might support like 9 year-old janitors) and then disregard maturity levels in this instance. I fully realize that the gun analogy is much worse, people could die, probably kids. I guess my main point is we should be very careful about simply stating science approves it without considering factors outside of science. We don’t live in a scientific vacuum. I would like to argue that parents know their kids, but when you consider that some of them are getting pregnant so young, I’m not sure that is a logical statement.

  273. 273
    LT says:

    @B W Smith:

    The FDA doesn’t operate in a vacuum either. They’re actually human beings, who have studied in their fields for ages, and a lot of them probably actually have kids of their own. They – and more importantly, I think, doctors (all the major medical associations approve Plan B going OTC) – found that it is an overwhelming GOOD for society to make Plan B OTC. How you and so many others who one would gather are on the pro-science side of things (and the fact that you are trying to give “science” an evil meaning is just so depressing) can simply act like none of that matters is just mind-boggling to me.

  274. 274
    LT says:

    @B W Smith:

    I guess my main point is we should be very careful about simply stating science approves it without considering factors outside of science.

    And what continues to confound is that you are supporting Sebelius with this kind of claim when Sebelius made no such claim herself. She didn’t make her decision by “going outside science,” to paraphrase your claims here. She said she thinks the the FDA’s scientific conclusion was wrong. The science said it was safe for all women of reproductive age – she said she disagreed.

    Please see my link at #225 for more on that.

  275. 275
    B W Smith says:

    @Keith G: This is not a moral issue for me. Most of the time I do trust the FDA and science. I don’t distrust what they are saying about the safety of the product. But as you say, mistakes do happen. My main issue is that there is more to dispensing this drug to any female of child-bearing age than their ability to have unprotected sex. I hate slippery slope arguments and what-ifs but I am going down that road anyway. A 13 year old has sex for the first time on Friday night. She has never heard of Plan B. On Monday at school a friend tells her about it but neglects to mention the time limit. After school, based on incomplete information she buys it and takes it late that evening. All done, no worries. Except maybe not. Based on my experience with that age group, reading and following instructions is not their strong suit. Logically, I can say that the medicine is safe and probably works well for most. It is the lack of thought and maturity in that lower range of ages that I question.

  276. 276
    LT says:

    She has never heard of Plan B. On Monday at school a friend tells her about it but neglects to mention the time limit. After school, based on incomplete information she buys it and takes it late that evening. All done, no worries. Except maybe not.

    Given that that puts it in the 72-hour window, it’s likely that it will work just a it’s supposed to. (Maybe you’re not so good at reading instructions yourself?)

    And if not – then what exactly is your worry? What will happen is that she will get pregnant. Which is what you support in the first place if you think she shouldn’t be allowed Plan B.

  277. 277
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @B W Smith: You know what might help provide the answers you seek? An FDA study. Anyone know of one of those on this?

  278. 278
    LT says:

    @B W Smith:

    Most of the time I do trust the FDA and science. I don’t distrust what they are saying about the safety of the product.

    This is just completely baffling. i’m going to go ahead and assume that you’ve taken medications before in your life. And I’m going to go ahead and assume they were approved by…

    No, no I’m not going to assume that. I forgot that there’s a good possibility that the drugs you, B W, have taken in your life were approved by a pack of cheetahs. Which makes everything you’ve said make perfect sense.

  279. 279
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Just for the sake of discussion, what would the risks be to someone taking Plan B when there wasn’t actually a chance for pregnancy? Like if the couple was doing something other than P-I-V sex, and then got worried, and thought, “well, just to be on the safe side, maybe I should take one of those pills.”. What’s the worst that could happen? I honestly don’t know.

  280. 280
    B W Smith says:

    @LT: I totally respect your view. I actually have not said that your view is incorrect. I appreciate all the hard work you have put in with links to show back up for that view.
    I have reviewed all of my posts on this subject and I did not see where I said I thought Sebelius used the correct reasoning. I even stated that if it were for political or moral reasons, she should say so. My entire argument, however haphazardly you think I have presented it, has been about the maturity level of the lower age range. So while I may or may not disagree with how she arrived at the decision, and I do think the cut-off would have been better at 15, I think both practically and perhaps politically, it was with a few caveats the correct one.
    I suggest we agree to disagree.

  281. 281
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT: Well, there’s the idea that the product could be safe when used as directed, but that kids who were too young wouldn’t be able to use it as directed. In that situation the product is safe and the FDA is right, but the user isn’t capable. That kind of seems to be what Sebelius is saying, and the FDA is saying, no, we tested that, it’s fine, you’re meddling.

  282. 282
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @B W Smith: The nuts-and-bolts problem then becomes how 15 year-olds prove their age.

  283. 283
    LT says:

    @B W Smith:

    “So while I may or may not disagree with how she arrived at the decision, and I do think the cut-off would have been better at 15, I think both practically and perhaps politically, it was with a few caveats the correct one.”

    That’s perfectly reasonable.

    I appreciate that we’ve brought the discussion around to a better spot.

    Be well.

  284. 284
    TooManyJens says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Just for the sake of discussion, what would the risks be to someone taking Plan B when there wasn’t actually a chance for pregnancy?

    Exactly the same as the risks if there were a chance of pregnancy. It mostly suppresses ovulation, and possibly also alters the consistency of the cervical mucus. The mechanism of how it works isn’t affected by the presence of sperm.

    Of course, that would be a case where the benefits (because if there’s no chance of pregnancy, there are no benefits) do not outweigh the risk, so use of the drug wouldn’t be indicated. But the magnitude of the risk itself would be no different.

  285. 285
    LT says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The whole point is to take it if you think you might get pregnant. It prevents pregnancy.

  286. 286
    LT says:

    Ah, that’s not complete. Nothing happens if they weren’t about to be prego, as TooManyJens said.

  287. 287
    B W Smith says:

    @LT: I find it truly amazing that you cannot respect genuine disagreement. You must be a real trip at dinner parties. Actually, I am aware of the 72 hour time limit. I am also aware that the drug loses effectiveness further out. Also depending on the time of sex of my pretend 13 yo and the time of taking the medication, it could very well be outside the 72 hour time limit.

    I have not been condescending to you and unless provoked by your jumping to conclusions I have been respectful. What does it gain you to be so condescending? Does that win you lots of converts? I never said I wanted these girls to stay pregnant. Arguments like that, jumping to conclusions about intent, and calling folks “not smart” does not bode well for your actual arguments.

    Flip, I have not read the FDA study. Perhaps I should but I’m not sure that could possibly address the maturity level issues that I have. I mean, did they do psychological profiles for 12 and 13 yo girls? I assume you have read it in its entirety and can answer that for me.

    I have no doubt that there are 12 and 13 yo girls that are mature enough to understand all the instructions and implications. I’m not sure the majority will and that’s what makes me uncertain.

  288. 288
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT: Yes, I know. I support wider availability of the stuff and have said so all along. Note the many times I have agreed with you here.

    My specific thought here was that it made perfect sense to me to think of it as a pregnancy fire extinguisher, because the downside risk is limited. What’s worse, a pregnancy or whatever side effects it causes? Well the side effects, obviously. But what if there isn’t really a risk of pregnancy, but the kids don’t know that, because their sex ed is for shit? (OK, the hypothetical skeeves me out, but what if it’s oral, and she swallows without meaning to, and panics?) Then we’d be talking about taking a pill to address a nonexistent problem. I was wondering if the calculus would remain the same, that is, that it’d be worth it to ride out the side effects. I don’t know. I’d guess yes. Maybe other people have different views and could tell me something about it, rather than just seeking the opportunity to be snide because it’s fun.

  289. 289
    TooManyJens says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I have to admit, I’m wondering about the size of the overlap between the set of people who think giving a blow job can get you pregnant and the set of people who know Plan B exists. Use studies have indicated that the people most likely to use Plan B are the ones who are generally conscientious about birth control.

  290. 290
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @TooManyJens: Thanks for the explanation. @LT: OK, if I had read this second bit before composing a reply I wouldn’t have been huffy. But, seriously, ease your finger off the trigger, dude.

  291. 291
    B W Smith says:

    @LT: I am sorry that my last post and your post crossed in transmission. My previous reply is linked to your other posts. I just think in most cases, it is better to show respect and ask questions before jumping to conclusions.

    I am really and truly conflicted about this entire decision. I absolutely know the safety of the drug, but there is more than just actual medical safety involved or whether or not reading instructions and understanding the words equal comprehension. Perhaps I have spent too much time with 12 and 13 yo girls.

  292. 292
    B W Smith says:

    @FlipYrWhig: In my state, teenagers are eligible for a state-issued learners’ permit at 15. I know that’s not true in all states. I know in some states, kids can’t drive until 18, so I’m not sure when they are issued learners’ permits.

  293. 293
    LT says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I wasn’t even being huffy, although I can see how it looked like that. I’ve known all along that you were fighting the good fight.

  294. 294
    LT says:

    @FlipYrWhig: “Maybe other people have different views and could tell me something about it…”

    I don’t think so. The whole idea is to take it if you think you might get pregnant – so it obviously must be made safe for non-pregnancy.

  295. 295
    LT says:

    @B W Smith: Id didn’t think I was being that hard at the end there! Just ribbing you by that time!

    But yes, messages get lost in transmission. I appreciate you coming back in good form about it.

  296. 296
    LT says:

    @B W Smith:

    but there is more than just actual medical safety involved

    Please explain.

  297. 297
    eemom says:

    @LT:

    heh. You can learn a lot about a self-congratulatory, arrogant asshole sometimes by clicking on their nym.

    You’re just madly in love with yourself, aren’t you, you little “bizarrely successful” nouveau riche expat?

    Here’s a clue: you don’t live here anymore, you don’t get to tell us what to do. So go peddle drugs to children down there in NSW and fuck off.

  298. 298
    B W Smith says:

    @LT: Thanks, I think I’m just a little sensitive at this point. Maybe my skin is not thick enough to do the blog thing.

  299. 299
    LT says:

    You’re just madly in love with yourself, aren’t you, you little “bizarrely successful” nouveau riche expat?

    Woo hoo hoo ho ho hoo…

    Oh lordy. If you only knew how thick with stupid that was. It’s like you were the star of a movie called Dances With Stupid, and the character playing Stupid stood on a cliff at the end and yelled, “Eemom, my bame is Stupid! And I am your friend!” And it stayed true forever!

    Um, for starters: “Nouveau riche”? BWWWAAAAHHHHH A HA HA O FUCK ME WIIT SCISSORS. Jesus. Just Jesus mary and the dog. I can’t say any more to that. Oh, but wait, I will say this: I had to go to wine in NSW, which I can get for $5 a bottle – good too! – because even cheap bourbon’s $28 a bottle. Fuck!

    Nouveau riche. Holy shit, that still kicks.

    And – oh yeah, thanks for going to the site! rock on! – when you go back you’ll notice it says I work for a “bizarrely successful” company. I’m sorry it hurts your mind’s anus – but it really is “bizarrely successful.” Like really. Was before I got there, too. I like to think I helped it continue – but that’w cuz I’s madly in love with myself!

    Oh and here’s a clue you witless prick – I’m an American citizen. I get the feeling that I actually have to add more to that to explain to someone as dense as you why that means that even when I go some where in a great big airplane – I get to speak as an American citizen. But I’m not going to.

  300. 300
    LT says:

    @B W Smith: Yeah, but stick around. It gets better. (I’m lying but I feel like being nice. It’s what us nouveau riche expats do.)

  301. 301
    B W Smith says:

    @LT: Please explain? Not sure what else there is to explain. We have a disagreement about how young is too young to receive an OTC drug and the maturity level necessary for understanding. I have spent a great deal of time with girls that age, both in my family and out. Now maybe my white, suburban family existence could be skewering my thought process, but professionally, I have worked with girls across a very diverse population. To be sure, some are mature but a greater number at that age are not, especially not in a crisis situation. I really don’t think we will ever agree on this point. As I said earlier, sometimes, it really is best to agree to disagree.

  302. 302
    LT says:

    @B W Smith: Alright. Let’s leave ‘er there.

  303. 303
    eemom says:

    @LT:

    ooo-wee. I’d say I hit a nerve there, ayup.

    Just to pluck an idle random thread from the tangled mass of your nervous wreckage, I know you’re an American citizen — that’s why I used the word “expat.”

    For the folks keeping score at home, you don’t mention mention “working” for squat. What your little testimonial to your own awesomeness says is this:

    I’m a writer and blogger for a bizarrely successful American non-fiction book series.

    Yep, just an ordinary working schlub. (The pix of your sailing trip to Tazmania are lovely, btw.)

    But hey — more power to you, you’re living the American Dream! Just not, you know, here.

    Which is totally your right. What is NOT your right, however, is telling us folks back home what to do when you’ve bailed on us. Particularly in the exceptionally obnoxious and self-righteous tone that you are so tediously wont to use.

    There was another thing…..one other thing…..what was it again……

    Oh yeah. Fuck off.

  304. 304
    FromTheBackOfTheRoom says:

    @LT:
    You rock. Now tell eemom to Smell the Glove.

  305. 305
    LT says:

    Oh wow. You had to go again.

    Yes, I write for a living. That’s my “work.” This concept is apparently foreign to you. Along with the fact that a whole lot of people who write for a living are actually not at all anything like or approaching “rich.” Perhaps this shatters some dream you’ve held to dearly. I wish I could say Sorry.

    And thank you! They really are lovely pics, aren’t they?

    I’m learning from you – and I’m learning this just now, so bear with me – that

    • if a person, who happens to work as a writer (strike one-finity!)

    • if said person marries a forin person and moves with forin person to his or her home cuz said forin person misses family

    • if said person has an old friend of spouse ask for help getting sailboat (which, by the way, the old friend saved for for years doing social work, ie., caring for people with mental illnesses) home to Tasmania, and said writer person says, Uh, okay! (even though he never, ever sailed in his life, although he has been on the sea a bit, working fishing boats in Alaska)

    • all this immediately makes said person 1) nouveau riche; and 2) madly in love with himself; and 3) just all around suspect in every way and deserving of mean stares and/or Internet Mockery.

    Thank you. My god, how my world will change now. For starters I’ll need a new job! And possibly wife!

    But hey—more power to you, you’re living the American Dream! Just not, you know, here.
    __
    Which is totally your right. What is NOT your right, however, is telling us folks back home what to do when you’ve bailed on us.

    You have to tell the truth now: You’re a Republican, right? Barring that, you had one of those surgeries where they take most of your brain out? Tell the truth. Honesty is important.

  306. 306
    eemom says:

    I thought I told you to fuck off.

  307. 307
    eemom says:

    ….on second thought keep talking. Yer doin great.

  308. 308
    not motorik says:

    Obama hates women.

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