Yesterday evening the Obama administration announced it would back down from plans to fight a federal judge's ruling that the Plan B emergency contraception pill must be made available over-the-counter and without age restriction in U.S. pharmacies. Previously the FDA permitted over-the-counter sales to girls and women aged 17 and older and the Obama administration wished to revise that age requirement down to 15.
But in reporting the story, both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal omitted any objection from pro-life or parents rights groups, even as they reported the reactions of abortion rights advocates. "We are pleased that women should soon be able to buy Plan B One-Step without the arbitrary restrictions that kept it locked behind the pharmacy counter when they needed it most urgently," the Journal's Jennifer Corbett Dooren quoted Nancy Northup of the Center for Reproductive Rights at the close of her 11-paragraph, page A3 story for Tuesday's print edition.
The New York Times's Pam Belluck wrote twice about the emerging controversy over the Food and Drug Administration's decision immediately allowing girls under 15 to receive Plan B One-Step, the morning-after pill for emergency birth control, without a prescription or parental consent. Citing safety concerns, the Obama administration had previously overruled the FDA, which had removed all age restrictions on access to the pill. Obama's Justice Department announced yesterday that it will appeal the FDA's latest "compromise" decision.
Social liberalism continues to dominate the New York Times. Reporter Jess Bidgood didn't even blink over the controversy of a Planned Parenthood-affiliated student group distributing condoms on a Catholic campus, Boston College, in Monday's "Ban on Free Condoms Jeopardizes Student Group’s Work With Catholic College." Bidgood led off with libertine language from the condom-pushers:
Chelsea Lennox, a junior at Boston College, the Gothic university overlooking this natty Boston suburb, picked up a bouquet of brightly colored condom packages and put them into the envelope that she views as a tiny beacon of sexual health resources at the deeply Catholic institution.
Belluck also defended Planned Parenthood, leaving out recent controversies, including one uncovered by the pro-life group Live Action -- two videos showing Planned Parenthood staffers actively assisting a Live Action actor to procure a sex-selection abortion. (The Timesfiercely defended Planned Parenthood last year after the Komen Foundation cut off grants to the organization; Komen reinstated the funds under liberal media pressure.)
The New York Times defended the Texas branches of Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, on the front page Thursday: "Women in Texas Losing Options For Health Care" was reported by Pam Belluck and Emily Ramshaw, a reporter for the Texas Tribune, which produces a twice-weekly local section for the Texas edition of the Times.
Ramshaw was last covered in Times Watch in January, lamenting the "bureaucratic nightmare" instigated by a pro-life law. (When was the last time the Times complained about overregulation?)
Five years after he successfully lobbied state legislators to change his state's law governing the filling of Senate vacancies, Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy (D) now wants the law changed again.
Kennedy successfully encouraged Democratic state legislators in 2004 to push through a change in the law in order to thwart the possibility of then-Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) appointing a Republican successor to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) should the latter win the presidential election.
But rather than reporting Sen. Kennedy’s flip-flop as more partisan gamesmanship, the Times’s Abby Goodnough buried Kennedy’s role in the 2004 legislative drama in paragraph nine of her 17-paragraph August 20 story: