The New York Times Embraces Social Libertinism at a Catholic College and at the Pharmacy

April 9th, 2013 1:25 PM

Social liberalism continues to dominate the New York Times. Reporter Jess Bidgood didn't even blink over the controversy of a Planned Parenthood-affiliated student group distributing condoms on a Catholic campus, Boston College, in Monday's "Ban on Free Condoms Jeopardizes Student Group’s Work With Catholic College." Bidgood led off with libertine language from the condom-pushers:

Chelsea Lennox, a junior at Boston College, the Gothic university overlooking this natty Boston suburb, picked up a bouquet of brightly colored condom packages and put them into the envelope that she views as a tiny beacon of sexual health resources at the deeply Catholic institution.

"We have S.T.I. facts, birth control choices, how to choose one, and then Planned Parenthood locations and resources,” Ms. Lennox said of the contents, ready for distribution.

“We check for the integrity of every package. Everything we make sure is within its expiration date. The package is completely intact. There’s no lube leakage out of anything,” she said with a sheepish laugh.

Ms. Lennox is part of Boston College Students for Sexual Health, an unofficial campus group formed in 2009 that has worked with campus offices like residential life and health services to plan forums and programming around sexual health. On some Fridays, the group gives away condoms on a sidewalk adjacent to the campus, and it keeps an online list of about 15 dorm rooms, which it calls “safe sites,” where students can get free male and female condoms, lubricant and sexual health pamphlets.

But last month, Ms. Lennox and the other students involved in the effort received a letter from the administration, pressing them to stop. “The distribution of condoms is not congruent with our values and traditions,” read the letter, which was signed by Paul J. Chebator, the dean of students, and George Arey, the director of residential life.


Ms. Jekanowski estimated that the group hands out up to 5,000 condoms a semester, some of them donated by the Great American Condom Campaign. The group receives money from outside sources like Washington-based Advocates for Youth, and is affiliated with the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, another Jesuit college, Gonzaga, denied a Catholic group's application to be an official student organization on the grounds that it would require members to be....Catholic.. The paper hasn't picked up that religious controversy.

Saturday's lead featured reporter Pam Belluck on the morning-after pill, "Judge Overturns Age Limit To Buy A Contraceptive -- The Morning-After Pill -- Federal Ruling to Allow Over-Counter Sales to Girls Under 17." Belluck defended the decision and attacked the Obama administration from a social liberal perspective.

A federal judge on Friday ordered that the most common morning-after pill be made available over the counter for all ages, instead of requiring a prescription for girls 16 and younger. But his acidly worded decision raises a broader question about whether a cabinet secretary can decide on a drug’s availability for reasons other than its safety and effectiveness.

In his ruling, Judge Edward R. Korman of the Eastern District of New York accused the Obama administration of putting politics ahead of science. He concluded that the administration had not made its decisions based on scientific guidelines, and that its refusal to lift restrictions on access to the pill, Plan B One-Step, was “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.”

He said that when the Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, countermanded a move by the Food and Drug Administration in 2011 to make the pill, which helps prevent pregnancy after sexual intercourse, universally available, “the secretary’s action was politically motivated, scientifically unjustified, and contrary to agency precedent.”

Ms. Sebelius said at the time that she was basing her decision on science because she said the manufacturer had failed to study whether the drug was safe for girls as young as 11, about 10 percent of whom are physically able to bear children. But her decision was widely interpreted as political because emergency contraception had become an issue in the abortion debate and allowing freer access for adolescents would prompt critics to accuse the president of supporting sexual activity for girls of that age.

Catch this pro-liberal labeling bias:

Many groups that are part of Mr. Obama’s political base praised the decision to make the emergency contraceptive pill more easily available, saying the change would also make it easier for all women to obtain the pill because stores often keep it behind the counter or in pharmacy sections that may close at night....Conservative and anti-abortion groups assailed the judge’s decision, suggesting that it may allow the pill to be given to young girls without their consent. They also say that girls who can skip the requirement to visit a doctor for a prescription may have sexually transmitted infections that go undiagnosed and untreated.