Sadly, only about a quarter of the relevant agencies have developed scientific integrity policies as required under White House guidelines and publicly released them.
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.
The Administration’s decision to ignore medical and scientific evidence and deny increased access to Plan-B suggests a failure to understand and acknowledge the effects of this decision on Latinas, women of color, undocumented immigrants and low-income women.
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.”
Kathleen Sebelius clearly upheld restrictions on emergency contraception as a naked political move, but it wasn’t even smart politics. Young women, a big voting bloc for Democrats, are insulted and will likely be demoralized by this decision.
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.
The Health and Human Services Secretary says Republicans want to roll back women’s health by 50 years.