Tuesday, December 20, 2011

So, hey, come up with a Plan B


Within hours of Secretary Sebelius denying an application to make a morning after pill available, over the counter, to girls under 17, women's rights groups went ape shit on their fellow woman's rights advocate. Ignoring their own previous appreciation of Secretary Sebelius' years of advocacy and ardent support of reproductive rights, she was enemy number one and she was playing "politics".

I called bullshit right away.

My take has always been that the ball was dropped by the FDA and the pharmaceutical company, NOT Secretary Sebelius. It's easy to blame her because she did the hard thing. But the anger should be directed toward the folks who rushed the data and the application.

The same people who acted as if the FDA was infallible should be SCREAMING about Yaz. We can't say the FDA is perfect on this issue and condemn them for allowing women, like my friend, Heather, to suffer a stroke because of her reproductive choices.

I also found the cries of her playing politics extremely hollow when just days prior to her being accused of playing politics, she denied a grant to Catholic Bishops because they didn't provide access to family planning centers in their human trafficking resource program. As someone who cares a great deal for programs to combat and aid victims of human trafficking, this hurt my heart. But I completely understand that women victims of trafficking need full access to full health care. How does the Secretary who was willing to make that Solomon choice, suddenly become the enemy playing politics?

The issues the Seretary faces aren't easy. They are going to piss someone off. To accuse her of playing politics because you don't like the choice she made is lame and ignorant of complexities.

I think the real politics were being played by women's rights groups who focused so much on one aspect, that may have inadvertantly caused harm to the very girls they are trying to help.

This issue can be resolved if the women's groups put the politics aside and make every decision thoroughly and with great care and foresight. I commend Secretary Sebelius for keeping the bigger picture in mind despite being accused of playing politics. No women should play any part of a political game at the sake of the girls.

And if I lose my feminist card for this, so be it. I'll go with my plan B and join a group of logical people who care that the girls are spoken up for in more ways than one.

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