WASHINGTON - May 7 - Last nights FDA decision to deny over-the-counter availability of the morning after pill medication that can prevent a pregnancy from occurring if taken within 72 hours following unprotected sex is an egregious example of the Bush Administrations choice of politics over womens health. The administration overruled a sound, scientific recommendation from an FDA panel, which voted 23-4 to make the medication available.
This is about politics, not medicine. President Bush wants to have it both ways, said Ralph G. Neas, president of People For the American Way. He wants to portray himself as compassionate, but an agency operated by his appointees is rejecting expert medical opinion that womens lives can be helped if this medication is made available over the counter. The decision is clearly aimed at energizing the radical anti-choice wing of the GOP base, and is a cynical ploy to gain votes at the expense of womens health.
If the president trusts scientists and doctors and honestly wants to reduce the number of abortions in this country, he should ask the FDA to reconsider its decision, added Neas. But if he wants to use a public agency and the reproductive health of American women as political pawns in this falls election, he can keep playing to the anti-choice extremists who only want to see one thing an end to every womans constitutional right to make decisions about her life and her body.