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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Flip-Flop on Emergency Contraception

Posted by on July 26 at 10:48 AM

Today brings more indication that emergency contraception is being misguidedly dragged into the abortion debate: Republican Gov. Mitt Romney of MA vetoed a bill passed by the legislature that would have expanded access to the emergency contraceptive Plan B. The bill, which will likely become law regardless, as it passed by veto-proof margins, would have allowed authorized pharmacists to dispense Plan B without a doctor’s prescription (just like in Washington State), and would have required hospitals to offer the pill to rape victims (which as far as I know isn’t yet law in Washington).

According to the Boston Globe, this is a major flip-flop for Romney, who promised to “support efforts to increase access to emergency contraception” in his 2002 campaign for governor, and may indicate that Romney is trying to spit-shine his pro-life image in advance of a possible presidential run.

Romney is using the old, medically naive justification that if used late enough (never mind that Plan B is indicated for 72 hours after unprotected intercourse), the pill "terminates life after conception." See Hannah Levin's recent feature for The Stranger for a sound refutation of that theory.