Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.
President Obama on Thursday defended his administration’s controversial move to overrule a decision by the Food and Drug Administration that would have allowed emergency contraception to be available without a prescription to everyone, including girls under the age of 17.*
Obama stressed that the decision was made by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and that he "did not get involved in the process." Still, he said that he agreed with Sebelius that letting the FDA decision stand could have allowed girls as young as 10 to buy "a medication that could have an adverse effect."
"I will say this," the president said. "As the father of two daughters, it makes sense to apply some common sense."
Currently, only women 17 and older can access the pill over the counter, a rule that will now remain in place despite the FDA's findings that the product is safe and effective for use by adolescents when used as intended. As the New York Times notes, this is the first time the agency has ever overruled the FDA.
Over on Slate's Double X blog, Amanda Marcotte argues that having the 17-and-older restriction on Plan B "is awful for two major reasons." You can read those here.
*Correction: An earlier version of this post misidentified the full name of the FDA.