Breaking: Appeals court allows over the counter access to some but not all emergency contraception

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals today granted the Obama administration a stay on access to one-pill forms of emergency contraception. But the court also ruled that two-pill variants should be available over the counter immediately and without harsh age restrictions. So Judge Korman’s important ruling that EC should be available over the counter should at least partially go into effect. This is another blow to the Obama administration’s attack on young people’s reproductive rights, and another victory for access to EC.

I happen to believe that when a presidential administration consistently acts to block access to reproductive health care, that means they’re demonstrably anti-feminist. I don’t care how well you talk the talk or how many feminist parties you show up to, actions are most important. The Obama administration has acted to block reproductive health care access in such an obviously political manner, a federal judge wrote that,  “The FDA bowed to political pressure emanating from the White House and departed from agency policy,” and that, “Even with eyes shut to the motivation for [HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius'] decision, the reasons she provided are so unpersuasive as to call into question her good faith.” Luckily, we’re winning access to EC despite the Obama administration’s best efforts.

Previously: Age restrictions on emergency contraception access are unacceptable. 

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Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/jlaw/ Jen

    Part of what I love about Feministing is the thoughtful, multi-faceted analysis of its writers. While I’m definitely happy with the decision of the Court of Appeals, I’m disappointed that we’re stopping the analysis at “well, the Obama admin is restricting access to reproductive services. ANTIFEMINISTS.” As a Feminist, I receive a lot of criticism that the movement doesn’t recognize its allies from its enemies. It’s analysis like this that I think make that statement legitimate. The Obama Admin, and Sebelius in particular, fought for women’s reproductive rights in the Affordable Care Act. Moreover, Obama has done his share for a lot of feminist causes- appointing women judges, refusing to defend DOMA, signing Lily Ledbetter. Is the administration perfect? Nope. Is is anywhere near as awesome as Hillarys would have been? Obvi not. Should we critique it? Absolutely. But let’s be fair and thorough and avoid blanket statements.

  • http://feministing.com/members/decius/ Dan

    It’s more important that access to EC be protected than to signal that access to EC is important.

    By making a blocking attempt that fails appeals, the Obama administration is causing a court precedent to be set, which will be harder for future executives or legislators to overcome.

    I’m not sure what the actual motivations are, but the actual effect is to make EC harder to prohibit.