FDA Taken to Court Over Failure to Lift Plan B Age Restrictions

 After a years-long battle, most American women can now obtain emergency contraception, commonly known as "Plan B" over the counter. But they have to be over 17 and show government ID to prove it--even though a court demanded that the FDA reconsider its age restrictions, finding them to be based on politics, not health.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, which originally sued the FDA about the restrictions, is taking the FDA, now under Obama, back to court today for failing to follow that original court order.

Even though the Obama administration has vowed to take politics out of science, the FDA has dragged its feet on this one. Here'smore from the CRR statement:

At the start of his administration, President Obama declared that politics would no longer play a role in U.S. science policy, stating, "we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology." And soon after FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg was confirmed, she told reporters that it was her mantra to make FDA's decisions more "science-based."

So in March 2009, when the court ruled that the FDA acted in "bad faith and in response to political pressure" when it repeatedly and unreasonably delayed making a decision on Plan B and departed in significant ways from its normal procedures, it thought the new administration would "conduct a fair assessment of the scientific evidence." This has obviously not happened, and the Center is returning to the courts to make sure the FDA complies with medical and scientific consensus that says there is no rationale for age restrictions to emergency contraception.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at November 16, 2010, 7:19am

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