All In   |  May 02, 2013

Obama admin will continue to push Plan B age restrictions in appeal

Chris Hayes looks at the Obama administration's decision to appeal an April court ruling that ordered that Plan B be made available to women of all ages.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> remember back in april when a federal judge ordered the obama administration to make plan b , a form of emergency contraception available to women of all ages over the counter . this after health and services secretary kathleen sebelius , hadn't been done before overruled an fda recommendation to do just that, make it available until tover the counter. they had until sunday and on tuesday it announced it would be lowering the age limit from 17 to 15 and making the pills available over the counter in drugstores but left wide open the question whether or not the administration would be appealing the april ruling or carrying out the judge's orders to make it available to all. yesterday we found out when the justice department announced it would be appealing arguing the court's ruling undermines the regulatory procedures governing fda 's drug approval process. it's an interesting situation considering that is precisely what the obama administration itself is accused of doing. president obama also seemed to lose sight of that fact today when he said this.

>> my suspicion is that the fda may now be called upon to make further decisions about whether there's sufficient scientific evidence for girls young ir than 15. that's the fda 's decision to make. that's secretary sebelius 's decision to review. but i'm very comfortable with the decision they've made right now, based on solid scientific evidence .

>> the only problem with that is the fda already made its decision about women younger than 15 based on solid scientific evidence , saying it should be available to women of all ages. this was not lost on the center for reproductive rights , the party in the lawsuit who said yesterday we are deeply disappointed just days after president obama proclaimed his commitment to women 's reproductive rights his administration decided once again to deprive women of their rights for emergency contraception and burdensome restrictions. planned parenthood applauded it but said age barriers for contraception are not supported by science and should be eliminated. as we have said on the show, the administration 's position on plan b is bad policy. we rely on the fda to make scientific decisions on the safety of drugs for a reason. we do not want these decisions to be politically compromised, not by this administration and certainly not by the next. take a second and ask yourself if you want sarah palin reaching into the fda to tell them what drugs should and should not be over the counter . as the judge noted in his april ruling, it's also common practice for the fda to allow a drug over the counter with a warning it should not be taken by people younger than a certain age and said secretary sebelius 's edict showed a lack of knowledge or willingness to ignore previous policy. plan b is not unsafe, let me repeat, plan b is not unsafe. from the beginning, this has been viewed as political by the administration during an election year thinking they didn't want to pick a fight on the dangerous ground teenagers having sex knowing when people hear the words 14-year-old and pregnant together they get uncomfortable, the president included. he in vehicled his two daughters throwing his support behind secretary sebelius 's decision.

>> as the father of two daughters, i think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over the counter medicine.

>> just last week i was standing here saying the president was right to lean into the culture wars , embrace the fact democrats do not have to be in a defensive crouch on these issues, they can make an affirmative case and be with the majority, like for instance on access to birth control to be absolutely clear is what we're talking about. plan b is birth control . mr. president, making plan b available over the counter to women of all ages is right in the merits. just last week you made the gutsy decision to become the first president in history to speak to planned parenthood saying this.

>> as long as we've got to fight to make sure women have access to quality affordable health care and as long as we have the right to protect a woman's right to make her own choices about her own health, i want you to know you also have a president who will be right there with you fighting every step of the way.

>> what you were saying during that powerful speech is i understand who got me elected and i am with you. in this decision to appeal, it looks like you are taking that back. don't take it back, mr. president. you were right the first time.