August 26, 2005
The FDA and emergency contraception
Unbelievable. OK, not at all unbelievable in Bush’s America:
The government on Friday put off its long-awaited final decision on whether to sell emergency contraception without a prescription, saying the pill was safe to sell over-the-counter to adults but grappling with how to keep it out of the hands of young teenagers.
In a surprise move, the Food and Drug Administration postponed for at least 60 days a final decision on how to allow nonprescription sales of the morning-after pill called Plan B just to women 17 or older.
“Enforceability is the key question,” said FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford.
… Crawford broke a personal pledge to Congress to decide Plan B’s fate by Sept. 1, charged two senators who called for congressional hearings into the delay.
“It is a breach of faith,” Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., who lifted objections to Crawford assuming leadership of FDA only after his pledge, wrote in a statement. “There is no credible scientific reason to continue to deny increased access to this safe health care option.”
And as feministing points out, the non-decision is most damaging to those who are most vulnerable—teenagers:
Young women are the women who need EC the most. And as we’ve pointed out before, many American teens can get abortions without parental notification or consent—so why in the world would we want to give them a hard time about preventing a pregnancy?
Answer: because we’re scared shitless of the religious right.
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