You’ve been warned:
The federal government plans to announce today that it would allow the sale of the morning-after pill Plan B without a prescription to women as young as 17, making the controversial contraceptive available to minors for the first time without a doctor’s order, a federal official said.
The Food and Drug Administration agency is taking the action to comply with a judge’s ruling last month that the agency’s 2006 decision to limit availability of the contraceptive method to women 18 and older was invalid and politically motivated, the official said.
The FDA plans to notify the company that makes Plan B that it would approve sale of the pill to 17-year-olds at the company’s request.
Also, completely unrelated, but via TalkLeft, what appears to be some good news on the 4th Amendment front:
The Supreme Court yesterday sharply limited the power of police to search a suspect’s car after making an arrest, acknowledging that the decision changes a rule that law enforcement has relied on for nearly 30 years.
In a decision written by Justice John Paul Stevens, an unusual five-member majority said police may search a vehicle without a warrant only when the suspect could reach for a weapon or try to destroy evidence, or when it is “reasonable to believe” there is evidence in the car supporting the crime at hand.
The justices noted that law enforcement for years has interpreted the court’s rulings on warrantless car searches to mean that officers may search the passenger compartment of a vehicle as part of a lawful arrest of a suspect. But Stevens said that was a misreading of the court’s decision in New York v. Belton in 1981.
It kind of makes you wonder how the same court that issued this ruling seems to have no problem with school administrators fondling children at their whim.
Hurrah for “activist” judges! Seriously, that’s good news for 17-year-olds. Yay for the rare occasions when reality trumps politics!
A Mom Anon
The trick now will be finding the Plan B pill in pharmacies. Especially down here in GA and the rest of the South.
But yay! Score one for reproductive choice. I cannot believe I’m writing that in 2009,but hey,good news is good news.
No conflict at all.
No breasts are available in car searches.
It’s about damn time. Sheesh.
As for the other thing–old pervs will be old pervs. They seem to be the mainstay of the Republican party right now.
P.S. Most of the mandates of the right have been about controlling women’s bodies. Let the heads explode in 3…2…1….
To be fair – they haven’t actually ruled on that case yet. We’re getting reports of what happened during the trial, and people are making assumptions about how the ruling will go based on the questions they asked and facial expressions and anecdotes from the justices. We won’t know how big a group of contradictory bastards they are until they actually put out the ruling.
Interesting breakdown on this case: The majority decision was by Stevens, Souter, Ginsberg, Scalia and Thomas. The minority (allowing for the more aggressive interpretation of the previous ruling) was by Alito, Roberts, Kennedy, and Breyer. I guess it may all come down to whether Scalia and Thomas think that the school was going too far in how they handled the strip search case or not. I’m thinking the strip-search case may look a lot like this one, but with Scalia and possibly Thomas flipped over to the pro-authoritarian side of things.
Remember when Bush appointed the “doctor” who raped his wife to head the FDA’s Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee? Good times.
Tomorrow’s Wingnut argument: This ruling to allow Plan B is invalid and politically motivated.
Obviously these justices have something to hide in their cars.
Don’t take Plan B in school, though, or your principal gets to do a body cavity search.
I repeat, we have reached WINGCON 2. This is not a drill, people. Please head to your reality shelters at this time in an orderly fashion.
Remember, WINGCON 2 means that Winger combined political spin torque factors, fact distortion, magical thinking and histrionic bullshit could reach potentially toxic levels.
Talk about freak-out. Nutters have a wonderful new idea. The Million Armed Man March on DC.
Throw in a little heavy drinking and what could possibly go wrong?
Will the National Guard be waiting for them with machine gun nests all set up?
Damn you, FDA! Damn you, activist judges! Damn you women 17 years of age and older! You’re destroying America!
Just Some Fuckhead
That’s nice but it’s still illegal for me to have sex with a seventeen year old in my state. OTOH, I can strip search her and give her a good spanking. Baby steps.
I liked the commenter who posted, “Like I said they cant arrest 1,000,000 + people. Its not possible.”
Ask the nisei veterans of Manzanar how many people they can arrest. In truth, I doubt that they’ll have any problem arresting the few dozen fat, drunk, white guys who do show up with guns.
lol, Wolf just announced the decision on CNN. He’s 30 minutes behind you. I love this blog.
As soon as I read this I heard CNN’s “Breaking News” bumper and… yeah, this is going to freak out a lot of republicans.
Kids can’t vote. It’s as simple as that.
After which you might be required to use it. *dark humor*
Not in my home state of PA. Anyone over the age of 16 is fair game :-)
But, but … limiting the power of the police is Fascism! Or something.
I’m not left wondering a damn thing. Same old same old from the right. Property rights are ever more important than human rights.
Technically, they’re kind of the same thing.
Maybe because the police are finding other stuff besides ibuprophen.
@JL: I love this blog too! For a million (unarmed!) reasons.
I’m a newbie/lurker, but thanks to more than a few Sully hat tips, I discovered this site and it is now my #1 daily must-read!
Keep it smart and snarky folks; it’s great stuff!
not really much of a limit, except for one important one–this eliminates the search of the car incident to a pretextual stop.
in other words, it looks like you can’t arrest someone for having a broken taillight handcuff them in the squad car and then search the car for drugs or guns. there has to be some basis for the search.
this is where you do get the authoritarian/libertarian split on the SCt. note that the Bush appointees go with the authoritarian perspective–better a utilitarian bright line that the government gets to do whatever it thinks it ought to do, because of course the government never makes any mistakes.
i really don’t get outrage over plan B (one comment from the post said “it’s a victory for the culture of death”). Do people think this is the abortion pill? When i was 17 my boyfriend and I were sexually active and one time the condom broke. We talked about it, figured better safe than sorry, and my local planned parenthood (in nowhere, texas, mind you) provided me with plan B, no questions asked. What’s the problem? We had already decided ‘to do the nasty’ so it’s not like absence of plan B would have changed that. All it did was prevent an unwanted pregnancy, and afterall, as one commenter at the post said, “single mothers are parasites on society”.
I was thinking about this, my bet is that the cops will order the person to stand right by their open door while another person searches the car or keeps a tazer trained on the guy so they can say ‘hey, he could have dove into his car for that non-existent gun!’
The Moar You Know
The Christ-haters talk about a “fertilized egg” but a fertilized egg is really a full-grown baby and so therefore to use any form of birth control is just like shooting a baby in the head.
This pill is just like baby murder the people who should have control over the woman’s uterus are the ones who care about babies and Jesus, not Obama’s murderous gangs of ACORN stormtroopers or the ACLU Christ-hating lawyers. 17 year olds shouldn’t use it. No one should. It should be banned like marijuana should be.
Have Thomas and Scalia ever voted differently from each other? Seriously, have they ever?
Man On Fire
On the car case: actually, I just took Criminal Procedure last Summer and remember Belton well. The problem isn’t that they misread it, the problem was that they read it correctly, and it’s an unbelievably stupid opinion.
Basically, under Belton, get in your car, lose a big chunk of your Constitutional rights. As far as I can tell today’s ruling makes the chunk somewhat smaller, but still there.
Pretty much the bulk of legal opinion over the years that comes from Justice Thomas can be boiled down to “yeah, what Scalia said.”
It seems like it would have the same effect to simply send Thomas home for retirement and let Scalia vote twice on everything.
I think this illustrates my reaction when I read that.
That’s a 5-person decision that I thought would never happen.
@The Moar You Know:You are a total idiot – the Bible says zero about abortion and humans are not a single cell. You and your stupid rabble would be denounced by Jesus as the hate filled lying fools you are. Go to a site of fools and liars that needs losers like you – Red State.
What we need is to allow thirteen years olds and up to access safe and proper treatment to protect their health.
Yes, yes they do. For some people, it’s genuine confusion between Plan B and RU-486. Frankly, the confusion is pretty inexcusable in this day and age, when clear information on both drugs is readily available.
For others, they know the difference between the two, but still see Plan B as an abortion pill. One way in which Plan B works is that it prevents the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. This is where things get tricky. Medically, pregnancy begins upon implantation. However, the anti-Plan B crowd (and certain sympathetic fundie doctors) strongly believe that pregnancy (and thus, life) begins when the egg is fertilized. So to them, deliberately preventing a fertilized egg from implanting is no different than having an abortion. Many of these people also have a beef with your everyday oral contraceptive, IUDs, and any other form of birth control that can prevent implantation, much for the same reason.
Basically, they are trying (and doing an alarmingly good job of it) to redefine the medical definition of when pregnancy begins, in order to garner support for outlawing Plan B, the Pill, IUD, and any other hormone-based contraceptive. Of course, the hormonal-based contraceptives ARE the most effective methods, outside of sterilization. So a by-product of their aim would be a large increase in unwanted pregnancies — but they don’t want to hear that, as they have it in their heads that unwanted pregnancies really only happen to the unmarried, who should have kept their damn legs closed anyway. Unwanted pregnancy within marriage is an utterly foreign concept to them, and their reaction upon being confronted with it is usually a variation of “La la la, I can’t hear you!”
To add to my point, the reason why these people don’t understand the concept of an unwanted pregnancy within marriage is because they are religious nuts who believe that each and every child is a blessing from God, and that it’s a great big insult to God to refuse to bear as many children as he sees fit to bestow upon you.
In other words, in a perfect world for these people, I would be stuck at home, unable to work due to having to take care of the 6 kids I already have, and would continue bearing babies until my uterus prolapses.
‘Tis all God’s plan, doncha know. Look up “Quiverfull Movement” if you want a real eye-opener.
Someone failed their snark. Not sure who though.
WOW… I’m shocked. The war on drugs just took a hit with this ruling.
To say I’m pleasantly surprised is an understatement. I do hope that school students soon get the same right as an automobile to not be strip searched without a warrant.
So to summarize:
Warrantless car searches, bad. Warrantless wire tapping, no problemo!
Correction they care about the fetus right up until the moment it exits the womb, at which point they couldn’t give a fuck if it starves, is clothed, is schooled, or has a roof over its head, cause that is welfare and that is bad. However until that point the fetus is precious!
that fetus is also precious on nov 4—IAOI it votes rethuglic!
No problem if your real goal was to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, which is going to be directly related to the number of abortions.
The problem is not abortions, no matter how much the religious right insists. Reducing the number of abortions is not the goal. If it were, your logic and the conclusions from that would be unassailable.
The real problem for right wingers, as Asiangrrl noted, is how to control women’s bodies, especially their sexuality.
Nope. I don’t wanna and I ain’t gonna.
gotta say, i’d have a way different criminal record if this had been the interpretation all along…
Yesterday, I emptied out my money account. Almost $10K, but I paid off my mortgage IN FULL. 100% debt free!
Last night, I hit a deer. Auto is totaled. No full coverage insurance, because it was a high-mileage (over 200K) vehicle. $2500+ estimate, and that’s before they pull the bumper to inspect the radiator and condenser.
It’s all in the timing…