Judge Says Pro-Life Groups Lack Standing to Challenge Selling Plan B to Girls

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 31, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Judge Says Pro-Life Groups Lack Standing to Challenge Selling Plan B to Girls

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 31
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A federal judge has issued a ruling saying a collection of pro-life groups don’t have standing to file a lawsuit against the FDA over its decision allowing the sales of the morning after pill to minors. The groups wanted to reverse the Food and Drug Administration ruling opening the morning after pill to 17-year-olds.

The Alliance Defense fund filed legal papers representing three pro-life groups challenging a federal court order that required the FDA to allow the Plan B drug to be sold to minor girls.

The groups included Concerned Women for America, the Christian Medical and Dental Association, and Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International.

The organizations contend the order disregards parental rights and the safety of teenage girls.

But Judge Edward R. Korman of the Eastern District of New York issued an opinion saying the groups failed to show they were directly harmed by his March 23 ruling and thus lacked legal standing to challenge it.

"Interveners have not alleged a concrete organizational injury or any injury suffered by their members," Judge Korman wrote in Tummino v. Hamburg. As a result, he denied the groups’ motion to intervene.

Judge Korman also wrote that the groups were not denied access to FDA information on the safety of the drug for minors that it was required to provide to the public. He wrote that the FDA’s claims the drug is safe for minors was consistent with previous research and added that his decision did not violate the approval process.

Korman also dismissed claims from CWA that it was not allowed to voice its opinion during the approval process and claims from the pro-life pharmacists groups that its members would be forced to dispense a drug that violates their moral and religious views.

Steven H. Aden, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, told the New York Law Journal the pro-life firm was evaluating its options and would not say whether an appeal would be filed.

Matt Bowman, a top attorney with ADF, talked with LifeNews.com about the challenge when it was filed in June.

The life and health of women, especially minors, is more important than the political agenda of pro-abortion activist groups," he said. "Minors are least of all in a position to make an informed decision about the life or death of a child, or even about their own safety. It is a lie that over-the-counter sales of this drug increase safety for women, including minors."

“The organizations that are seeking to intervene in this lawsuit represent thousands of medical personnel that will not only be affected by the court’s order but believe strongly that it will result in both parents and doctors being left out of the loop in a child’s care," Bowman explained.

"The order allows minors to bypass being seen by a doctor who can check for sexually transmitted diseases and other potentially serious medical conditions,” Bowman told LifeNews.com. “Our motion argues that the case should be dismissed because, under the law, the plaintiffs have not established sufficient reason that they can even ask for an order like this.”

In 2005, the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights sued the Food and Drug Administration to force it to make the Plan B drug available over the counter.

The FDA agreed to make it available without a prescription to women 18 years of age or older. Unsatisfied, the CRR continued its lawsuit to force the FDA to make the drug available over the counter to girls aged 17.

After the ruling, Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, said the age restrictions need more enforcement, not less.
She also worries that a parent, older sibling or other relative or older friends could purchase the morning after pill for young teens, avoiding the requirement that they visit a doctor first before using the drug.

Wright said selling the morning after pill over the counter will make it easier for men who abuse young women to cover up their crimes.

"Any adult male who is having sex with a minor could walk into a pharmacy, buy the drug, and coax the girl into taking the pill," she said.

Wright also said that Planned Parenthood and abortion advocates were given certain restrictions by the FDA on the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, but that those haven’t been followed.

"Those restrictions have never been followed, women have died, yet no one has been punished nor the drug approval pulled,” said Wright.

The morning after pill has been hailed by abortion advocates as a method of reducing abortions, but stats in the United States and elsewhere prove otherwise.

Related web sites:
Alliance Defense Fund – https://www.adfmedia.org

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