My wife and I were reading the paper together when we saw a syndicated copy of your column titled “Morning after pill brings ad new day.” As someone who after some careful thought generally supports the idea of the morning after pill being made an over the counter medication (as long as the fine print is cleared up to add an explanation of just what the manufacturer’s studies conclude is the maximum safe doses a month) I would have to say that your article is potentially one of the most damaging pieces in the debate for that ideal that I have read in recent memory.
As an east-coast college student, I live in an environment among the most strongly affected by any potential liberalization of the distribution of Plan B or other post-intercourse contraceptives. However instead of rationally listing, explaining, and justifying the sizable benefits of wider distribution (and refusing to address the not insignificant issue of the possibility of reduced condom usage leading to the greater transmission of STD’s, particularly in environments like college campuses) you have taken what could be a practical meaningful discussion and injected hatred and emotion, thus indubitably hardening the positions of anyone who could have been on the fence, potentially your strongest ally.
Concerned by the OP-ED but supportive of the panel recommendation,
P.S. I notice in a previous column that your criticize almost 1/2 of health care plans for not covering the cost of birth control pills for women. Yet you make no mention of another even worthier item that’s also overlooked – covering the cost of condoms. We have an item that can be purchased by either men OR women, and in addition to helping to prevent pregnancy have a solid economic argument in their favor by reducing the chance of spreading STDs including AIDS – preventable sicknesses which the health insurance provider would then be stuck paying for the treatment thereof.