Skip to content

Et Tu, Sebelius? HHS Secretary Blocks Over-the-Counter Plan B

December 7, 2011

Cross posted at Ms.

Today, as expected, FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg approved a pharmaceutical application to make emergency contraception Plan B available over the counter without an age restriction. Then, flabbergasting reproductive-health advocates, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius overruled that decision, ruling to keep Plan B “behind-the-counter.”

Plan B’s status has been the subject of fierce debate inside and outside the walls of HHS for nigh onto a decade. But that debate seemed to be finally over. Countless doctors, scientists and health professionals have confirmed that Plan B does not pose a health risk. Multiple studies have shown that girls are capable of understanding the package label and using the product safely. In 2009 a federal judge even ordered the FDA to reconsider age restrictions on the drug, calling them  “political and ideological,” not scientific.

Kathleen Sebelius has been a friend to women’s health in the past. In August, she announced that birth control constituted preventive care under the Affordable Care Act, thereby requiring insurance plans to cover it at no cost to women. Why the turnabout? Possibly she’s tired of the relentless pressure she faces every day from religious groups and their friends in Congress. Possibly she’s tired of being called “a threat to the health and well-being of our country,” a thug, a Soviet tyrant, a late-term abortion lover, criminally obstructive, gruesomely anti-Catholic and a liar.

Regardless, in the interest of science, reason and sanity, she should have stepped up–or rather stepped out of the way of the FDA finally doing the right thing on EC.

Secretary Sebelius, we thought better of you. This was the most unkindest cut of all.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: