by Steven Ertelt
December 23, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A federal judge has decided he won’t throw out a lawsuit filed by abortion advocates against the Food and Drug Administration for delaying a decision on whether to allow the morning after pill to be sold over the counter.
Attorneys for the Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion law firm based in New York, filed the suit in January on behalf of two pro-abortion groups and nine women who formed a group called Morning After Pill Conspiracy.
They claim the agency has delayed a decision as a result of politics, not science and alleges it ignored a statutory deadline for making a decision.
FDA officials say the decision to allow the Plan B drugs, which can sometimes cause an abortion, to be sold to women above the age of 16 without a doctor’s visit, is because of the new and complex enforcement issues involved.
Federal District Judge Edward Korman questioned the FDA’s decision-making process on the drug.
"This has all the earmarks of an administrative agency filibuster," he said, according to a Newsday report. "There’s a serious issue here as to whether they’re acting in good faith."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Franklin Amanat argued the lawsuit should be dismissed because the Center does not have legal standing. It is not an individual woman who could have purchased the drugs had they been available at a local pharmacy.
But Korman rejected the request to dismiss.
The FDA rejected the initial request submitted by Barr Pharmaceuticals to sell the morning after pill to all women without a prescription. The FDA said it turned back the request because Barr did not provide adequate studies and information about how the drug affects young teenagers. The agency said it would consider a request to sell the drug to women over age 16.
The FDA has postponed a decision on the revised request saying it needs more time to look into enforcement issues.