by Steven Ertelt
March 16, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Two leading pro-abortion senators, including potential 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, will block the nomination of Andrew von Eschenbach to become the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration until the agency approves over the counter status for the morning after pill.
Clinton, a New York senator, and Washington’s Patty Murray, both Democrats say hey want the FDA to allow the morning after pill, which can sometimes cause an abortion, to be allowed for purchase at pharmacies without a prescription.
"If they don’t come to a decision on Plan B, the White House is going to need a Plan C on their nominee," Murray told the New York Times.
"I want the decision made before" voting on the nomination, she said.
The senators came under fire from Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America.
"We certainly hope that he will keep the FDA from being politicized and will not bow to pressure from pro-abortion senators or pro-abortion groups," she told the Chicago Tribune.
Barr Laboratories has seen their application for OTC status for the drug languish for three years. It was initially rejected because the company failed to provide enough information about how the drug would affect teenagers.
Barr submitted a new request to sell the drug to women over the age of 16, but the FDA has not approved it because of the unique enforcement issues involved of making sure younger teenagers cannot purchase the pill or have people purchase it for them.
Last month, von Eschenbach told abortion advocates in Congress that the agency’s decision to delay approval of over the counter sales of the morning after pill is not a political decision.
Von Eschenbach spoke during a meeting of a House appropriations subcommittee to discuss the agency’s budget.
He said he wasn’t sure when the agency would hand down its decision on the request to sell the pills without a prescription.
"That process will be carried out in the appropriate fashion," he said.
President Bush nominated von Eschenbach as the permanent commissioner of the agency last week. In September 2005, Bush named von Eschenbach, then director of the National Cancer Institute, as the acting commissioner.
Von Eschenbach replaced Lester Crawford, who resigned after coming under fire from abortion advocates over the morning after pill delay. However, Crawford also had some personal issues that may have led to his leaving.
Murrary admitted to the Tribune that she’s upset Crawford was approved and assurances given the drug would move forward.
"You cross somebody and lose their trust, it becomes very difficult to do things the second time around," she said. "Am I still angry? Yeah."
Aside from the morning after pill debate, von Eschenbach is also expected to be questioned by pro-life lawmakers who want to know why the Food and Drug Administration has not pulled the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug from the market. It has been found to be responsible for the deaths of five women in the U.S. and eight worldwide and has injured over 850 women in the U.S. alone.
The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control are planning an upcoming conference to determine why the abortion drug causes lethal bacterial infections for four California women, who all died within days of using it.
Observers suggest Planned Parenthood abortion businesses are deviating from FDA guidelines, which recommend using the abortion drug orally. The abortion centers are telling women to use the drug vaginally and at different dosages than the FDA suggests.
The appointment of von Eschenbach was met with some skepticism because of his leadership post at NCI.
The cancer agency has been criticized by pro-life advocates because it has dismissed the link between abortion and breast cancer and pulled down such information from its web site after lobbying by pro-abortion groups.