Access to Plan B Contraceptives

Issue Bush Obama Change?
Plan B In 2006 right-wingers criticized Bush for allowing Plan B to become available without a prescription. Even so, the rules were strict and Plan B was available over the counter only to women 18 or older.

Indeed, not long after Obama's inauguration, a case that had its roots in the Bush limitations finally resulted in a decision in which those limitations were roundly condemned:
U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman in New York instructed the agency to make Plan B available to 17-year-olds within 30 days and to review whether to make the emergency contraceptive available to all ages without a doctor's order.

In his 52-page decision, Korman repeatedly criticized the FDA's handling of the issue, agreeing with allegations in a lawsuit that the decision was "arbitrary and capricious" and influenced by "political and ideological" considerations imposed by the Bush administration.

"These political considerations, delays and implausible justifications for decision-making are not the only evidence of a lack of good faith and reasoned agency decision-making," he wrote. "Indeed, the record is clear that the FDA's course of conduct regarding Plan B departed in significant ways from the agency's normal procedures regarding similar applications to switch a drug from prescription to non-prescription use."

Continuing the story from 2006:
President Obama recently announced plans to name former New York City health commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg as FDA commissioner .... He also issued an order he said was designed to insulate scientific decisions throughout the government from political influence.

Note that Margaret Hamsburg is the current FDA head who Obama is throwing under the bus. In "Statement from FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D. on Plan B One-Step", Ms. Hamburg had this to say of Plan B:
... CDER experts, including obstetrician/gynecologists and pediatricians, reviewed the totality of the data and agreed that it met the regulatory standard for a nonprescription drug and that Plan B One-Step should be approved for all females of child-bearing potential.

I reviewed and thoughtfully considered the data, clinical information, and analysis provided by CDER, and I agree with the Center that there is adequate and reasonable, well-supported, and science-based evidence that Plan B One-Step is safe and effective and should be approved for nonprescription use for all females of child-bearing potential.

So, Obama who once vowed to make decisions based on science, is using Siebelus, who has a Masters in Public Administration but no serious scientific background, to overrule a decision by Hamburg, a Harvard Medical School graduate.

For all his talk, Obama has stooped yet again to the Bush level on this issue. Or maybe lower: Morning-After Pill Limit Marks First Time U.S. Overrules FDA (please don't insult our intelligence by blaming this all on Sebelius -- she is either out of control, which means the president is weak and ineffective, or merely being the person who was designated to take the heat).

Obama is making political decisions out of public health decisions.

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