At yesterday’s White House press conference, President Bush said he supports over-the-counter sale of Plan B to women ages 18 and up.
Q: Thank you very much. Mr. President, some pro-life groups are worried that your choice of FDA Commissioner will approve over the counter sales of Plan B, a pill that, they say, essentially can cause early-term abortions. Do you stand by this choice, and how do you feel about Plan B in general?
THE PRESIDENT: I believe that Plan B ought to be — ought to require a prescription for minors, is what I believe. And I support Andy’s decision.
Bush only recently announced his support for contraception, saying it was acceptable for “responsible adults” to use birth control, but not anyone else. (Because, clearly, irresponsible people make the best parents.) Maybe he’s opposed to making Plan B available to women under 18 because he’s concerned, like some FDA officials, that it would create teen sex cults. In reality, all medical evidence says the drug is completely safe for over-the-counter sale to minors– and has no effect on their sexual behavior. But anti-abortion groups are predictably incensed that Bush is supporting the morning-after pill at all.
And speaking of abortion foes, supporters of the South Dakota abortion ban are saying it’s a-OK to criminalize abortion because, hey, emergency contraception would still be legal. They declined to mention that pharmacists in South Dakota are allowed to refuse to fill prescriptions for Plan B.