Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Mr. Savage breaks it down.

In today's Onion, Dan Savage (he of the Savage Love sex column) responds to an earlier column he wrote, wherein he told chunky women not to wear low-cut jeans, it would be a good idea to get healthy & lose weight, etc. Typically, his inbox got flooded with a bunch of angry fatties calling him an opressor. In a most excellent move, Mr. Savage side-steps the fatties and goes after a real issue of "opression." Being the ignorant fuck that I am, I was unaware of this whole "Plan B" issue. Not anymore. Check it:

In December, the FDA's Reproductive Health Advisory Committee voted 23-4 in favor of making Plan B, the "morning after" birth-control pill, available to women, large and small, without a prescription. Plan B is emergency contraception, and women who've had a condom break or engaged in drunken unprotected sex need to be able to get their hands on it quickly. Plan B is not "regular" birth control, meaning it can't take the place of the pill or condoms. But it is a safe and effective backup that prevents a woman from ovulating or, if a fertilized egg is already present, prevents it from attaching to the womb—the fate of half of all fertilized eggs anyway. Plan B is available to women in 100 nations and sold over the counter in 33.
I am thoroughly annoyed at having my tame statements of fact—being heavy is a health risk, and rolls of exposed flesh are unsightly—characterized as 'hate speech.'

Despite the recommendation of its expert panel, in May the FDA announced that it would not make Plan B available without a prescription. Why? The Bush-appointed asswipes running the FDA claimed they were concerned that Plan B couldn't be used safely by girls between the ages of 11 and 15. (Pregnancy at 11, however, girls can handle fine.) By that standard, members of the FDA's expert panel pointed out, no drugs would be available to anyone without a prescription. You can overdose and die on freaking Tylenol, for crying out loud. The real reason the Bushies don't want women to get their hands on Plan B, of course, is that they don't want women—young or old, large or small—to be able to control their own reproductive systems. That's oppression, no?

Sorting through 10,547 outraged e-mails, I couldn't help but wonder how many of those 10,547 took the time to write the FDA and complain about the Plan B decision. If you did, good for you. If you didn't, there's still time: You can make amends for obsessing about how my column allegedly oppresses women by calling the FDA on their actual oppression of American women. Call the bastards at the FDA at (888) 463-6332, or send them an e-mail via the FDA's web site (www.fda.gov). But, considering that the FDA is currently in the hands of Bush Administration appointees (read: Jesus freaks and Bible-thumpers), your time might be better spent sending letters to your representatives in the U.S. House and Senate, which you can do via these two web sites: www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.

Finally, god bless Canada for being so sensible and so close by. Days after the FDA refused to approve Plan B, the Canadian government announced that Canadians will soon be able to enjoy over-the-counter Plan B along with their gay marriages, socialized medicine, and decriminalized pot.


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