I was dumbfounded by the President’s decision to prevent over-the-counter access to safe, emergency contraception for sexually-active teenagers (16 and under; there are lots of them), especially when all the docs, up to and including his FDA director, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, told him such access would be a good idea.
After thinking about the decision for a while, I realized what’s also at-play in this decision: the willingness of two progressive, pro-choice women public officials, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (unabashedly), and Dr. Hamburg (so far), to go along with the President’s decision.
There’s been a hue and cry all over the place about this decision, both from a public health standpoint and a political standpoint (whose votes does this decision garner, really; for starters, surely not independent women voters with teenage children, who the President needs and wants, badly).
Here is my solution to this sorry state-of-affairs, in which people in important political positions ignore the needs of the less-fortunate among us, in favor of advancing their own careers: Elect more women.
Of course, any woman won’t do, but the more in-place, the more chance the rest of us will have to lobby them to do what’s right for their sisters.
And while we’re at it, let’s hold the ones already elected and appointed to a higher standard, i.e., a standard that doesn’t sacrifice the health of young women to the desire to placate conservative men.
Thanks for reading.