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EDITORIAL: The good father

But Mr. Obama sets a bad example on Plan B

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When they thought nobody was looking, the Obama administration abandoned a lawsuit Monday night that would have halted over-the-counter sale of the "Plan B" abortion pill to girls of any age, no matter how young. A 12-year-old student must have her mom or dad sign an affidavit to take an aspirin in a classroom, but she can take her bicycle over to Walgreens or CVS to get a "morning after" abortion pill with no questions asked.

The Planned Parenthood brigade hailed the Obama reversal as something to give women a greater "right to choose" and more "control" over their young and undeveloped bodies. More sensible folks question the wisdom of cutting parents and doctors out of the loop when dispensing powerful drugs, with the usual uncertainty of side effects, to children.

President Obama's about-face came without warning. Six weeks ago, while in Mexico City, Mr. Obama endorsed the Justice Department's attempt to fight a U.S. District Court decision to scrap a prohibition on selling the "Plan B" drug to children. The Justice Department argued then that the compromise worked out by the Health and Human Service Department to bar over-the-counter sales of the drug to girls under the age of 15 should stand. "I'm very comfortable with the decision they've made right now based on solid scientific evidence for girls 15 and older," said Mr. Obama. But that was then, and when Mr. Obama got home, the feminists seeded his pants with ants, and he evolved again.

White House spokesman Jay Carney tried manfully to distance the president from this decision by one of his Cabinet secretaries, who answer to him about everything he wants answered. The original Health and Human Services decision to restrict Plan B sales, made by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, was something Mr. Obama "supported," according to Mr. Carney, though the president had "not played a role in the making of the decision." But obliviousness is hardly a presidential excuse. The Family Research Council's Anna Higgins says it's "a clear example of the administration's willingness to put politics ahead of the health and safety of little girls. We're disappointed that this administration has once again sided with its political allies and ignored the safety of girls and the rights of parents."

Mr. Obama has an extreme view of abortion. As a state senator in Illinois he even opposed restrictions on "born alive" abortion, and invoked his daughters as reasons why. "I've got two daughters, 9 years old and 6 years old," he said in his first presidential campaign. "I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."

At Morehouse College in Atlanta last month, he recalled his own sense of abandonment when the father he would barely know returned to Kenya and left behind his mother and young son. "I've tried to be for Michelle and my girls what my father was not for my mother and me. I want to break that cycle where a father is not at home ... I want to be a better father, a better husband, a better man."

We think it's a good idea for all presidents to leave their children out of the policy debate, and we're saddened that the president sees new life as not a gift from God, but only a burden. He has demonstrated that he's a very good father, and he could help other men be better fathers, too, by ensuring they're not cut out of one of the most important and life-altering decisions a daughter can make. For shame.

The Washington Times

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