The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Monday, August 01, 2005

The Politics of Prescriptions 

I'll admit, I'm torn over this whole thing. New York Governor Pataki is planning to veto a bill which would make the "morning after pill" available over the counter:

Gov. George E. Pataki's aides said last night that he would veto a bill to make the so-called morning-after pill available without a prescription, prompting outrage among abortion-rights advocates.

Kevin C. Quinn, a spokesman for the governor, said in a statement that the governor's main objection was that the bill did not include provisions that would prevent minors from having access to the drug.
"It was a Herculean task to get it through the Senate and get the support of right-to-life senators who saw this as good common ground prevention," said Kelli Conlin, executive director of Naral Pro-Choice New York. Noting that Mr. Pataki had not raised any concerns about minors' having access to the drug before, she accused him of trying to placate conservatives in his possible presidential bid.

Further, Ms. Conlin noted that under Mr. Pataki, the state has covered the costs of abortions and abortion-inducing drugs for low-income minors. "This is about pandering to the right wing of the Republican Party rather than doing what's right for the women of New York," she said.

In probably the one major difference between me, and mainstream libertarianism, I am generally against abortion. I view it as a life that's being taken, and see it as a pretty open and shut case as I've said here many times. Now then, is this truly an abortion? Is a life being destroyed here? The earlier and earlier in the pregnancy timeline we go... the more foolish the arguments do become. It's a debate I have with myself every now and then, and I honestly don't have an answer. At some point if we keep looking earlier and earlier, masturbation ought to become illegal then... you're wasting sperm after all. Where do we draw the line? That's a whole other question, for a whole different post.

On to this post then. The arguments made in the case of the morning after pill are always, always couched in terms of the abortion debate. But I have some non-abortion related questions to raise here. I know... It's shocking that I would dare do such a thing. First of all, my understanding is that these drugs are really just super powerful birth control pills. So if birth control pills require a prescription (presumably for safety reasons), why would you make a much stronger pill available over the counter? And how can people advocate with a straight face making this drug available over the counter when some states are trying to require a prescription for Sudafed?

I also find it interesting that people who thing that minors shouldn't be allowed to smoke until they're 18, and drink until they're 21, and probably want to increase the driving age, think that they can make birth control decisions on their own. Well... let's be honest here. They don't ever want you to smoke or drink, but go ahead and take a super hyped up birth control pill that the FDA hasn't yet approved to be over the counter anyway.

I guess my point is that the hypocrisy on both sides astounds me. I suppose I should be used to it by now.


That's probably Plan B, not RU-486, which is a different kettle of fish.

  Posted at August 02, 2005 5:15 PM by Anonymous Anonymous  
I don't believe that suppressing medical technology -- including controversial medications like Plan B and RU-486 -- is a valid thing, but OTOH, I don't think Plan B should be available without at least a doctor's or, at the very least, nurse's visit. Walk-in centers are everywhere. It's not that hard to go to one.

  Posted at August 03, 2005 8:09 AM by Anonymous Josh Cohen  
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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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