In the years ahead, Advocates will continue to be a dynamic leader in promoting the rights of youth to information, education, and services. I am deeply committed to our current, innovative work expanding adolescent access to contraception domestically and internationally; fighting homophobia in schools and communities across the United States; and using our policy work on the Hill and with the administration to advance the goals of our state and local partners.
One of the most difficult things to do is tell a friend that we are disappointed or upset with them, but that is what we are doing here today.
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.
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.
Today, 14 Senators, 13 Democrats and one independent, wrote HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking her to provide them with the scientific evidence and rationale for her decision to deny access to Plan B to teens over the counter
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.
“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.
On contemplating, again, what it feels like to be thrown under the bus by politicians who take women for granted.