Plan B

Obama Administration Plan B Emergency Contraception Shenanigans Update

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Plan B
Credit: Princeton

Ah, remember the heady days at the beginning of the New Camelot, when a young charismatic President Barack Obama, avatar representative of the "reality-based community," promised, "We will restore science to its rightful place." Gone were the dark days of Medieval Bushism in which scientific findings were sacrificed to mere political expediency. Never again would science be subordinated to politics!

Then came the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) 2011 finding that Plan B emergency contraception was safe enough for any female to use without need of a prescription from a doctor. Obama Administration minion, Health and Human Services Department Secretary Kathleen Sibelius overruled the scientific findings and limited Plan B over-the-counter availability to women over the age of 17.

In April, federal district court judge took into account the scientific findings and ordered that Plan B be made available over-the-counter to all females. The FDA yesterday issued a new compromise ruling permitting women 15 years or older to purchase Plan B without a prescription. The FDA assured, "The FDA's approval of Teva's current application for Plan B One-Step is independent of that litigation and this decision is not intended to address the judge's ruling."

Perhaps. Even so, the FDA's earlier scientific finding that the contraceptive was safe for women of all ages still stands. The Obama administration has until May 5 to appeal the federal court's ruling. If the administration does not file such an appeal, Plan B will become available over-the-counter for all women of reproductive age. Let's hope for the sake of preventing thousands of unintended teen pregancies that Obama will at long last keep his promise.