Friday, August 26, 2005

Maybe Later, Honey

The words more women should use, given that the Bush administration just went back on its word to decide on the over-the-counter availability of the so-called morning-after pill. (This is a "high dose regular birth control pill which can reduce the chances of pregnancy by up to 89% percent if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex") The Bush administration now needs another sixty days to ponder over possible health hazards for teenagers, even though it promised a decision by September.

This is what Representative Louise Slaughter has to say about the delay:

I am once again deeply disappointed that FDA has disregarded the recommendation of its expert Advisory Panel and instead has allowed politics to trump science," said Rep. Slaughter. "To further delay acceptance of this application that enjoys broad support in the medical and scientific communities, is completely and wholly unacceptable. The scientific facts irrefutably show that EC is a safe, effective way for women to prevent unintended pregnancies," she continued.

"This decision has seriously hindered the advancement of women's reproductive health. In a callous display of politics, the FDA has once again missed the opportunity to significantly reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions in America," Rep. Slaughter concluded.

NARAL says some similar things.

It is fascinating that the Alan Guttmacher Institute estimated that the morning-after pill accounts for up to 43% of the drop in abortion rates between 1994 and 2000. I thought that the wingnuts wanted abortions to disappear? But not enough to let women have the morning-after pill?

The traditional excuse is that the wingnuts have decided the pill equals abortion. But:

If a woman already is pregnant, the pills have no effect. They prevent ovulation or fertilization of an egg. They also may prevent the egg from implanting into the uterus, the medical definition of pregnancy, although recent research suggests that's not likely.

It is the last possibility, that of preventing implantation, that the wingnuts consider to be abortion. But it's not likely. Ahem. IT'S NOT LIKELY.

Never mind. This is all about punishing women for carefree sex by making it not-so-carefree. Also punishing rape victims who are too scared to go to a hospital or who go to a hospital that doesn't believe in the morning-after pill for rape victims. And this is all about politics, too. Grim, isn't it?