District Court Judge Edward Korman lead a heated two-hour long court hearing on Tuesday with the lawyers defending the Obama administration's contested decision to limit emergency contraceptive access. "It turns out that the same policies that President Bush followed were followed by President Obama," the judge said. According to Salon, Reagan appointee Judge Korman is appalled at the administration's shameless use of political motives, rather than scientific evidence, to drive contraceptive policy.
"Korman repeatedly slammed his hand down on the table for emphasis, interrupting the government counsel's every other sentence with assertions like, 'You're just playing games here,' 'You're making an intellectually dishonest argument,' 'You're basically lying,' 'This whole thing is a charade,' 'I'm entitled to say this is a lot of nonsense, am I not?' and 'Contrary to the baloney you were giving me …' He also accused the administration of hypocrisy for opposing voter ID laws but being engaged in the 'suppression of the rights of women' with the ID requirement for the drug," Irin Carmon at Salon reports.
The judge accused the government of trying to enforce requirements like a photo ID to simply restrict women's access to the drug.
"You’re using these 11- and 12-year-olds to place an undue burden on women's ability to access emergency contraception. If it's an impediment to voting, it's an impediment to get the drug," the judge said.
Korman argued that these requirements disproportionately affected minorities and youth, who often don't have any photo IDs to present to pharmacists. He relied on Brennna Center statistics showing that one-quarter of African-Americans over the age of 18 don't even possess photo ID and that girls under the age of 15 rarely have a photo ID since they aren't old enough to have a drivers license. He also argued that a birth certificate doesn't contain a picture. "You’re disadvantaging young people, African-Americans, the poor — that's the policy of the Obama administration?" the judge said. Irin Carmon from Salon also notes this ID requirement also particularly impacts immigrants.
When Amanat, the lawyer defending the administration tried to argue that offering Plan B over the counter was "unprecedented" and could potentially impact public interest, Korman interjected and impatiently responded: "Tell me about the public interest. Is there a public interest in unplanned pregnancies? Some of which end in abortions?"
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