August 24, 2006

Plan B - Ability To Surprise Intact

FDA expected to back expanded use of Plan B contraceptive

The Food and Drug Administration will approve an application, possibly today, that would make the emergency contraceptive Plan B available without a prescription to women 18 and older, say sources long involved with the issue.

…and President Bush is quoted basically agreeing with this long-overdue over-the-counter plan.

“I believe Plan B ought to be — ought to require a prescription for minors, is what I believe. And I support Andy’s decision.”

“Andy” is incoming FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach. And the second this happened, Anti-Abortion groups went nuts.

I applaud the president for backing this, and actually expanding freedom. And I think it was a smart move for a number of reasons:

  1. Senators Clinton and Murray had vowed to block von Eschenbach’s confirmation, and this decision clears that hurdle.
  2. Bush is not very popular right now, and so his coattails are not very useful to conservative Republicans trying to get re-elected. The approval of this drug allows conservative congressfolk to go to their conservative districts and wave this issue around as a reason that a conservative voice is needed in congress.
  3. It gives people something to talk about other than the Iraq war.

Uncharacteristically good move, and a politically smart move. Remember, the political IQ of the Bush administration surges in election years.

(hat tip, Non Placet)

Posted by James at August 24, 2006 8:55 AM
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I'm not sure if I remember how to react to good news from the White House.

Posted by: Mike at August 24, 2006 9:51 AM

This is good news, especially as so many doctors have been refusing to prescribe this on moral grounds.

Posted by: leslie at August 24, 2006 10:47 AM

Which all furthers the point that its better to have a powerful social movement or cultural trend than to have the right guy in office.

Posted by: DG at August 24, 2006 11:21 AM

I'd agree with that (DG's comment) if only it were that simple. Examples: stem cell research; Iraq war.

Posted by: Julie at August 25, 2006 9:35 AM

...signing statements...

Posted by: James at August 25, 2006 9:56 AM

Like all the Democrats who voted for the Iraq War and the Patriot Act for example?

People keep acting as if "everything will change" if only we elect Democrats in the fall, forgetting how often they've bowed to the pressure of the more organized powerful conservative lobby.

Posted by: DG at August 25, 2006 11:24 AM

I don't think it will solve all our problems, but I've had enough of crazy nanny-state authoritarian Republicans in control, so that's a start.

It's a point well made, David, that the Democrats failed us in a large measure. They get some slack for not being the party in power, but they certainly don't get a pass.

Posted by: James at August 25, 2006 11:50 AM

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