The Obama administration apparently doesn’t care about the left’s outrage at yesterday’s announcement that Plan B emergency contraception will not, after all, be available over the counter. The president spoke today in public support of Health and Human Services director Kathleen Sebelius’s decision, and explicitly tied that support to his role as a father to two young girls, though he claimed he wasn’t involved in the decision to not loosen restrictions on the drug.
“The reason Kathleen made this decision is that she could not be confident that a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old going to a drug store should be able — alongside bubble gum or batteries — be able to buy a medication that potentially, if not used properly, could have an adverse effect,” Mr. Obama said to reporters at the White House.
“And I think most parents would probably feel the same way,” the president added.
That comment was greeted, predictably, unhappily on the left. Writing in Salon, Rebbeca Traistor said it struck a tone of “phony paternalism.” “The notion that in aggressively conscribing women’s abilities to protect themselves against unplanned pregnancy Obama is just laying down some Olde Fashioned Dad Sense diminishes an issue of gender equality, sexual health and medical access.” And on Pandagon, speculating about why the administration might have chosen such a tack, Amanda Marcotte wrote, “Turns out a lot of people — especially men — who think of themselves as “reasonable” or moderate or even liberal, quickly glommed on to the argument that this ruling was addressing a parent’s right to know. They falsely assumed that putting Plan B out of reach of teenagers will force teenagers to talk to their parents.”