May 09, 2004

Save a prayer for the morning after pill

In further news of the Bush administrations contempt for individual freedoms, the FDA did not approve the morning after pill, going against the recommendations of their own science advisors. Why?

The FDA cited concern about young teenagers' use of emergency contraception without a doctor's guidance...

Warned in February of that concern, Barr offered a last-minute proposal to allow nonprescription sales to anyone 16 and older and make drugstores check ages and demand a prescription from younger teens.

In its decision late Thursday, FDA said the company didn't provide necessary details on how such a program, never before tried, would work. It urged Barr to either provide more information to determine if the program would be legal and doable or provide data showing younger teens could handle nonprescription use.

Ah, I see. We'd rather have more teen pregnancy rather than allow teens to prevent unwanted pregnancy without having to tell people about it. I also see "the FDA came under months of intense political pressure from conservatives who argued that unfettered access could encourage more teen sex." Well...if that's the case, why aren't condoms illegal? Don't they just encourage teens to have sex?

Come to think of it, what about cigarettes? We don't want teens to have those, and they're not illegal. And don't stores that sell cigarettes check your ID if you look young? Checking ages hardly sounds like something "never before tried". And you can't tell me that cigarettes are less harmful or more necessary than contraceptives.

Another bit that made me squint: The FDA "urged Barr to...provide more information to determine if the program would be legal and doable". Why is the burden on Barr to determine what's legal? Doesn't the FDA have the ability to make that determination itself?

But perhaps I shouldn't get so overwrought. I see that "the agency stressed Friday that it will reconsider [its] decision if given more data." Well, in that case, here is some data they should consider:


Posted by Francis at 03:35 PM