Though Not Involved, Obama Defends Plan B Decision

Dec 8, 2011 3:42pm

President Obama today said he had no say in the decision by his secretary of Health and Human Services to block the Plan B morning-after pill from being sold over the counter to young teens but offered his support for the decision “as the father of two daughters.”

“I did not get involved in the process,” the president told reporters at the White House today. “This was a decision that was made by Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of HHS.”

Sebelius stepped in Wednesday to prevent the Food and Drug Administration from approving a request from the manufacturer to remove the requirement that girls under the age of 17 need a prescription for the drug.

Today Obama offered his support for Sebelius’ decision. “I think it is important for us to make sure that, you know, we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine,” he said. “When it comes to 12-year-olds or 13-year-olds, the question is can we have confidence that they would potentially use Plan B properly.”

The president said Sebelius made the decision because she was not confident that 10 or 11-year-olds should be able to buy the drug “alongside bubblegum or batteries,” especially when the drug could have adverse effects if used improperly.

“I think most parents would probably feel the same way,” Obama said.

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