**UPDATED**

In a statement, FDA Administrator Margaret A. Hamburg said she had decided the medication could be used safely by girls and women of all ages. But she added that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had rejected the move. – Washington Post

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

First it was Bart Stupak.

Then came poor women in Washington, D.C.

Now it’s Pres. Obama putting politics before science, while making Kathleen Sebelius the first H.H.S. secretary ever to overrule the F.D.A. Refusing to respect science and allow Plan B to be made available over the counter.

Mr. Obama didn’t get the message in 2010, when women split with Republicans, after winning their vote by 13 points in 2008. Now Pres. Obama has given progressive women a real reason not to vote for him, because he’s confirmed for the third time that what’s important to a majority of women in the Democratic Party isn’t important to him.

Obama’s continual war on our reproductive freedoms sends a message to organizations like Planned Parenthood, a group that’s been feckless since Pres. Obama came into office, with NARAL not much better. But they’ve got their own funding to worry about, which isn’t coming from the right, so what difference does it make if a poor or young woman has to pay more to get a doctor to prescribe medication that’s been approved by the F.D.A. as safe for women of all ages to be available over the counter? This hurts women in the 99%, upping the ante on their reproductive choices. More from the Post:

“We are outraged that this administration has let politics trump science,” said Kirsten Moore of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, a Washington-based advocacy group. “There is no rationale for this move. This is unprecedented as evidenced by the commissioner’s own letter. Unbelievable.”

Susan F. Wood of George Washington University, who resigned from the FDA in 2005 because of delays in relaxing restrictions on Plan B, said she was “beyond stunned” by the decision.

“There is no rationale that can justify HHS reaching in and overturning the FDA on the decision about this safe and effective contraception,” Wood said. “I never thought I’d see this happen again.”

I’ve referred before to the chapter in my book, The Hillary Effect, that’s titled “Is Freedom Just for Men?” It’s detailed, taking on the right, including Sarah Palin, who trumpets “freedom,” just not for women, and also Michele Bachmann and the “baby Palins,” among others, including Leader Pelosi, for allowing the Catholic bishops into the conversation when health care legislation was being debated, as well as Pres. Obama for emboldening and then capitulating to the Bart Stupak contingent, which ended up codifying the Hyde Amendment into law (previously it was a budget item, voted on yearly). You may also remember this past April, when Obama caved to Speaker Boehner, this time again screwing poor women, doubling down in D.C. Hey, why not? They don’t vote, right? From Colbert King, as a refresher:

The budget deal that averted a federal government shutdown delivered a below-the-belt blow to local self-determination. Congress used the budget negotiations to attach riders that prevent locally raised tax dollars from being used for reproductive services for low-income District women. Another provision forced a federally funded school-voucher program on the city.

If that weren’t galling enough, President Obama threw the city under the bus and bought the deal, telling GOP House Speaker John Boehner, “John, I will give you D.C. abortion. I’m not happy about that.” Boo-hoo. Like hell.

That Pres. Obama has hit women again isn’t surprising. Pres. Obama is afraid Republicans will use his support for reproductive freedoms against him in the general election campaign. The right is anti-science, so Obama wants to prove he can be, too, when it’s convenient and the constituency being hit is also being squeezed, because Republicans would do worse. Never mind that this mentality is what inspires Pres. Obama and other Democrats like him to believe they’ve got nothing to lose, because women won’t dare bolt the Democratic Party.

So, get ready for Obama fans to tell you that it’s the correct decision, because young women under the age of consent don’t have rights, unless their parents say so, while the Bill O’Reilly contingent applaud Obama, as will conservatives and some independents, which is exactly what the White House wants to hear.

Obama and his fans will ignore how his decision impacts a healthy majority of the female population, especially women in rural areas and poor women, as well as others in the 99% hit hard by bad economic times, women who have lost their insurance. They’ll say it’s important to support Obama, because Republicans are worse.

The right’s argument is that it encourages early promiscuity and encourages men to prey on young girls. Men who victimize young girls don’t give two hoots about the Morning After pill or contraception, they’ll do it anyway. Teenage girls in today’s society are not the same as they were during the June Cleaver era, sexualized at younger ages than ever before. Preparedness and access to all SAFE and F.D.A. approved medicines is the only way we will prevent unwanted pregnancies.

That’s not to say the thought of a girl age 14 or 15 getting pregnant and taking Plan B shouldn’t make everyone squeamish, because having sexual relations this young is not a wise decision. But first sexual encounters are almost always rooted in emotional and physical reactions, not through thought. That doesn’t mean emergency measures that have been tested and proven completely safe by the F.D.A. shouldn’t be available for these teens.

Teen sex is a reality throughout history, as females at puberty are going through a potent sexual passage, which they obviously feel, as their partners sense.

But 13-year old females having a child is a much worse consequence, one that is life threatening. The embarrassment, shame and fear of telling a parent of such an occurrence is no doubt harrowing, with a young female not having the means to do other things or the support system, beyond family, to rescue herself. When you take it to rural areas it’s worse, as it is in religious communities and families. Doctors are also out of reach for young girls in emergency situations.

We haven’t even begun to talk about victimization, force and abuse.

As with all access and reproductive health care products, it’s a public health and safety issue, which should be subject to science, not politics, as Pres. Obama has done, or religion, which does not belong in the dialogue either.

Modern women would be better off if Mr. Obama would go back to voting “present,” as he did so often in the Illinois state senate.
Modern women would be better off if Mr. Obama would go back to voting “present.”

I wonder how Pres. Obama would like it if progressive women did that next November?