Pro-Life Groups Happy FDA Official Resigned Over Morning After Pill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 1, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups Happy FDA Official Resigned Over Morning After Pill Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 1, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Pro-life organizations are delighted that a top Food and Drug Administration official resigned due to the agency’s delay over approving the morning after pill for over the counter sales. A spokeswoman for one pro-life group says women are now safer because the staffer, who advocated the use of the sometimes abortion drug, is gone.

Last week, FDA acting Commissioner Lester Crawford announced that the FDA would delay approval of Barr Laboratories request to sell the Plan B drugs to women over the age of 16. He said it would be difficult to enforce prohibitions on selling the pill to younger teenagers without a prescription.

The FDA is investigating how to implement that process and is calling for additional public input in the meantime.

Wendy Wright, of Concerned Women for America, says women are now safer that "political activist" Susan Wood, Assistant Commissioner for Women’s Health and Director, has resigned in protest.

"Parents should have a say if the FDA is going around them to make a drug – which has not been adequately tested for safety in adolescents – available to their children," Wright explained. "Thank goodness there is now one less political activist at the FDA who puts radical feminist ideology above women’s health."

"Apparently Susan Wood is offended at the FDA taking public comment on Plan B," Wright added.

In an email to colleagues that was made public by an abortion advocacy group, Wood claimed the FDA’s decision "continues to limit women’s access to a product that would reduce unintended pregnancies and reduce abortions."

But Wright says Wood’s words are hypocritical because Wood has not stood up against the RU 486 abortion pill, which the FDA rushed through approval during the waning days of the Clinton administration. The Mifeprex abortion drug has been responsible for the deaths of five women.

"What has she done to ensure unsuspecting women are not taken advantage of by abortionists who ignore the FDA’s guidelines on RU-486, putting their health and lives at risk," Wright asked.

Wood joined the FDA in 2000 after directing women’s health programs at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The FDA responded to Wood’s departure in a statement saying the FDA had advanced women’s health with her help. The agency said "her decision to leave is unfortunate as we work toward solving the complex policy and regulatory issues related to Plan B."

Barr plans to lobby state legislatures to join the seven states that have already approved over the counter sales of the morning after pill.