Judge once again rejects limits on emergency contraception

In yet another scathing critique of government health officials, a federal judge has refused to stay his order making emergency contraceptives available to consumers of all ages without a prescription.

Calling government efforts to restrict the sale of drugs such as Plan B “frivolous and taken for the purpose of delay,” U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman of New York wrote that the medications would be available to all unless the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled otherwise by noon Eastern time on Monday…

In a 17-page ruling, Korman said the actions of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius were in “bad faith” and “politically motivated,” and that government lawyers were functioning in “an alternate reality” when they requested the stay.

Korman wrote that Sebelius lacked “any medical or scientific expertise” and that she undermined the nation’s drug approval process when she overruled a decision by the Food and Drug Administration to allow the drug to be sold to everyone without a prescription.

“The FDA is not the problem,” Korman wrote. “The cause of the rejection of over-the-counter sale of … emergency contraceptives was the secretary of Health and Human Services.”

Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, the New York-based advocacy group that is the plaintiff in the case, welcomed the order.

“Judge Korman’s sound ruling simply orders the government to do what the experts at FDA have been trying to do for years: to put politics aside and let science guide us to a policy that makes emergency contraception readily accessible to all women when they need it most urgently,” she said in a statement.

Bravo!

A quasi-liberal administration which ignores scientific fact to bolster their political cowardice ain’t offering anymore service to the citizens of this nation than the conservative and reactionary thugs that want the same backasswards regulations behind the same or slightly differing myths.

Nice to see a judge stand up to hacks and quacks for a change. Not that I’m confident the decision will stand. This ain’t a nation operating with a whole boatload of political courage, nowadays.

Oklahoma judge strikes down ultrasound abortion law

Ultrasound of anti-choice nutball brain

An Oklahoma judge on Wednesday struck down the state’s law requiring women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound image placed in front of them and to listen to a detailed description of the fetus before the procedure.

District Judge Bryan Dixon ruled the statute passed by the Oklahoma Legislature in 2010 is an unconstitutional special law, and can’t be enforced because it addresses only patients, physicians and sonographers dealing with abortions without addressing other medical care…

Former Democratic Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry had vetoed his state’s bill after it passed the Republican-controlled Legislature, warning the measure likely would lead to a “potential futile legal battle.” Republicans overrode the veto with help from several Democratic anti-abortion lawmakers.

Enforcement has been blocked since May 2010 when the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights challenged the law on behalf of Nova Health Systems, operator of Reproductive Services of Tulsa, and a doctor who practices in Norman.

The group’s lawsuit claimed the statute violated the principles of medical ethics by requiring physicians to provide unnecessary and unwanted services to patients and discounting a woman’s ability to make decisions about her pregnancy.

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said Wednesday’s ruling reflects a backlash against legislation she called hostile to women, their doctors and their rights.

The court has resoundingly affirmed what should not be a matter of controversy at all — that women have both a fundamental right to make their own choices about their reproductive health, and that government has no place in their decisions,” Northup said.

The author of the ultrasound statute, Republican Rep. Lisa Billy of Lindsay – and other reactionary religious fanatics said blah, blah, blah, blah-de-blah.

The intent in every case is to use the power of the state — something all hypocrite conservatives say they categorically oppose — to influence and inhibit a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices.

The question comes down to individual liberty, freedom to choose – and, as always in the United States, freedom from the state being managed to serve religion.