Obama Health Advisor, Possible FDA Nominee Susan Wood an Abortion Activist
by Steven Ertelt
November 10, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A pro-abortion activist who resigned from the FDA because it supposedly did not approve the morning after pill as far as she wanted is a top health advisor to Barack Obama and has been mentioned as a possible head of the nation’s Food and Drug Administration.
Susan Wood is the co-chair of Obama’s advisory committee for women’s health.
On Monday, she mentioned Obama would likely reverse the successful abstinence-based anti-AIDS policy President Bush has used to lower AIDS rates in Africa.
But Wood, a research professor at George Washington University School of Public Health, is also in the news because she is touted as a potential FDA director.
However, she is not without controversy.
In 2005, FDA acting Commissioner Lester Crawford announced the agency would delay the request from the maker of Plan B to sell the Plan B drugs to women over the age of 16 and asked for public input on how to enforce the prohibition on selling the drug to younger teen girls.
Wood, the director of FDA’s Office of Women’s Health at the time, resigned in protest and pro-abortion groups circulated her letter of resignation to the media. Pro-life groups were delighted by Wood’s resignation from the agency.
Wood complained that Crawford wanted to "limit women’s access to a product that would reduce unintended pregnancies and reduce abortions."
However, Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, pointed to a study conducted by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco that found that increased access to the "morning after" pill did not lower pregnancy rates, because many women did not use the pills.
"Furthermore, studies show that the abortion rate is unaffected, and in some cases has increased," she explained.
Wright said Wood was apparently "offended" that the agency would take more public comment before issuing a final ruling on over the counter sales of the drug.
Wright also said Wood was hypocritical because Wood had 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 more than a dozen women and injuring thousands more.
However, Wood has denied the drug’s involvement in their deaths even though Dr. Ralph Miech of Brown University investigated the deaths and determined that the abortion drug suppresses a woman’s immune system.
After her resignation, Wood criticized a Bush proposal to offer further legal protection from discrimination for pro-life doctors and medical professionals. The proposed rules are meant to provide better enforcement for the conscience clauses that already exist in federal law for medical centers and staff.
The measure would protect doctors and nurses who don’t want to give out drugs that can cause abortions and it would protect medical centers that don’t want abortions done on site.
The proposal included a definition of abortion by saying it was a process that destroyed a human being at some point between conception and birth. Wood opposed that definition because she believes human life begins at implantation despite scientific evidence to the contrary.
"They are manipulating the system by manipulating the definition of the word abortion," she contended. "It’s another example of this administration’s disregard for science and medicine in how agencies make decisions."
Wood is also a member of the board of the new group Scientists and Engineers for America which promotes politicians who back embryonic stem cell research and the morning after pill.
Creation of the organization was a reaction to the science policies of President Bush and is made up of malcontents who disapprove of his reluctance to spend taxpayer funds on embryonic stem cell research.
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