On Friday, the Obama administration must answer a federal judge's order regarding a decision by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to limit over-the-counter access to Plan B. Currently, the emergency contraception is available only by prescription to young women under the age of 17. The FDA had originally recommended that the pill be accessible without prescription to all females of child-bearing age, but Sebelius overrode the agency's suggestion.
The Center for Reproductive Rights has spent years challenging the FDA's policies regarding Plan B, and added Sebelius to its lawsuit after she limited OTC access to the pill. It's put the Obama administration at odds with one of its core constituencies: the pro-choice community.
In an email dated April 18th, CRR President Nancy Northup told supporters that Sebelius is "playing politics" with the issue. Saying "enough is enough," Northup added, "We need leadership that listens to science and doesn't cave to political pressure."
Pro-life advocates say they find it ironic that the current administration is taking heat from the left. Jeanne Monahan, director of the Family Research Council's Center for Human Dignity, says, "President Obama has been the most pro-abortion in the history of the United States."
Monahan was encouraged by Sebelius' decision, saying there's been insufficient testing to prove Plan B is safe for young teens. However, many pro-life leaders worry the administration may change course under enormous political pressure during an election year.
For now, the matter remains in the hands of a federal judge.