Wisconsin Files Papers to Join Morning After Pill Lawsuit Against FDA

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 16, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 16, 2006

Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Wisconsin’s attorney general filed legal papers on Wednesday to join a lawsuit filed by a pro-abortion law firm against the Food and Drug Administration to make the morning after pill available over the counter.

Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager previously received permission from pro-abortion Wisconsin Gov Jim Doyle to join the Center for Reproductive Rights’ lawsuit it filed in the Eastern District of New York.

The case is still in its earlier stages.

Lautenschlager, a Democrat, told the Associated Press that the FDA’s delay in approving the drug for purchase without a prescription is hurting women who want the pills quickly.

Pro-life groups generally oppose the Plan B drug because it can sometimes cause an abortion. They also say it is being used as contraception even though it provides no protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

"What’s happening here is the politics of the federal government, in keeping a faction of the radical right happy, is essentially impacting on the health of many young Wisconsin female residents," she claimed.

Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, told AP the FDA has reasonable concerns about the effect of the drug on teens and enforcement issues. She said Lautenschlager is simply playing politics and noted that Wisconsin is the only state to join the lawsuit.

Because of the delay in approving the morning after pill for OTC status, eight states have already approved it on their own, including Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Washington.

Doyle approved the lawsuit in December.

“FDA’s postponement in making a decision is the result of politics, not science, and negatively impacts the health of women,” the governor said in a letter to Lautenschlager.

The Plan B drugs have been available to women since 1999 through a visit to a physician and a prescription, but that’s not enough for abortion advocates.

The makers of the drug filed to sell it over the counter in 2003, but the FDA rejected the application saying they did not provide enough information on how the drug affects teens. The agency said it would consider a request to sell it to women over the age of 16.

The FDA has yet to approve a request to do that saying it is working on enforcement issues to make sure only older teens and women can purchase the drug, which can sometimes cause an abortion, without younger teens getting access to it without seeing a doctor.