The latest shot in the war on women by the Obama administration goes to court. A federal court judge in Brooklyn, NY will hear challenge by the Center for Reproductive Rights to the constitutionality of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ veto of the Federal Food and Drug Administrations decision to make the “morning after” pill. Plan B, available without a prescription thus making it accessible to teen age girls under the age of seventeen.
The Center for Reproductive Rights and other groups have argued that contraceptives are being held to a different and non-scientific standard than other drugs and that politics has played a role in decision making. Social conservatives have said the pill is tantamount to abortion.
Judge Edward Korman was highly critical of the government’s handling of the issue when he ordered the FDA two years ago to let 17-year-olds obtain the medication. At the time, he accused the government of letting “political considerations, delays and implausible justifications for decision-making” cloud the approval process.
In court papers prior to Wednesday’s hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Landau said the government had complied with Korman’s orders by lowering the cutoff for over-the-counter sales of the drug from 18 to 17.
He said the plaintiffs “unfairly accuse FDA of bad faith and delay.”
And will wonders never cease. Mayor Michael Bloomberg raised his voice in support of making Plan B morning-after contraceptive available over the counter to young teenage girls. And just where did NYC’s speak-his-mind mayor do this? At a press conference in Queens, NY during an event promoting the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness with none other than Kathleen Sebelius in attendance:
“It would be much better if these young girls didn’t get pregnant, but once that happens I think this should be available,” Hizzoner told reporters.
Speaking minutes later at the same event, Sebelius said: “I felt that the data presented, and justification for [making Plan B available to] all ages, did not match.” [..]
He called FDA director Peggy Hamburg, who served as the city’s Health Department commissioner during the Dinkins administration, a “first rate scientist.”
“I think her advice should be followed,” he said prior to the jobs event at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City.