Plan B

PLAN B….President Bush nominated yet another head for the FDA on Wednesday, but two Democratic senators immediately put the kibosh on it:

Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Patty Murray of Washington announced Wednesday that they would block a floor vote on the nomination until the FDA made a firm decision on the controversy ? whether or not to allow Plan B, the “morning after” birth control pill, to be sold without a prescription.

….The agency’s scientific staff has long concluded that the contraceptive is safe and effective for over-the-counter use by women of all ages, according to internal memos recently released by Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles). But senior FDA officials have repeatedly delayed a final decision. That has prompted some in the medical community, as well as Democrats such as Clinton and Murray, to charge that the agency compromised its scientific judgment under pressure from social conservatives influential in the Bush administration.

Good for them. Aside from the personal insult of being directly lied to (Clinton was promised a vote on Plan B last year if she’d allow Bush’s previous nominee to proceed, and was then double crossed) this is plainly a case of interfering with the FDA’s normal scientific role in order to pander to the Falwell-Schlafly wing of the Republican coalition. The FDA’s role is to decide if drugs are safe, not to decide if they’re moral, and the Bush White House is corrupting that role for political gain.

Because of this, more teenage girls will get pregnant who don’t want to be, more of them will get abortions, more of them will suffer sustained emotional devastation, and more of them will end up bearing children they aren’t prepared to support. All thanks to a corruption of the scientific process enthusiastically supported by President Bush. Hooray.