To the FDA, the evidence is clear: Plan B is safe for women of all ages. Yet in a dangerous precedent, the Secretary overturned the decision based on pseudo-scientific concerns about misuse among younger adolescents.
Dr. Susan Wood discusses the recent misuse of science and data as part of the decision by the Secretary of HHS to overrule the scientific determination by the FDA Commissioner on bringing Plan B fully over the counter.
We cannot let the Democrats, let our president, lose sight of what this decades-old debate about access to all forms of reproductive healthcare is really about; that is, for women to have any sort of autonomy and self-determination within our society.
I got to thinking about what else the President’s decision portends. The essence of successful politicians like, say, Margaret Hamburg and Kathleen Sebelius, is three-fold. What starts all over every morning is the (political) big leagues ballgame. What starts over every day in these big leagues, just like the baseball ones, is a game that is played only one way: the hardball way.
Whether President Obama was compelled to weave the bubble gum narrative for political gain or because it truly reflects his thinking, the result is the same. Complex sexual health issues get overly simplified, society focuses on stigma more than solution, and young people are left with policy decisions that don’t begin to match the weight of their lived experiences nor keep them “safe.”
Experts, who we count on for guidance and sound evidence-based medicine, have repeatedly shown Plan B to be not only extremely effective, but incredibly safe. Although the experts in the FDA agreed with the well-researched and well-presented data on Plan B, Secretary Sebelius and President Obama chose to ignore their expertise and base their decision on politics, not science.
Disappointed, angry, dismayed — these are only some of the emotions I am feeling this afternoon after hearing President Obama’s poor excuse for restricting access to Plan B One Step. I am also scared. How does Obama’s hollow rationale and rejection of science make him any different than Michele Bachmann?
“Dr.” Kathleen Sebelius prescribed us a bitter pill when she ignored overwhelming evidence on the safety and effectiveness of emergency contraception to prohibit its sale over-the-counter. Is this change we can believe in? It’s certainly not a “common sense” solution. President Obama and Secretary Sebelius should listen to real doctors and the FDA Commissioner, and make this decision based on science, not politics.
What should have been a routine decision based on sound scientific and medical evidence just got hijacked by politics – again.
In her bizarre statement announcing this decision, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius effectively blames young women for her own political cowardice, saying we can’t be sure that younger women will understand how to take Plan B One-Step effective. (HINT: It involves taking one pill. That’s why it’s called Plan B One-Step.)