In 2005, Susan Wood resigned her job as the top women’s-health official at the FDA, claiming that the agency’s refusal to allow over-the-counter sale of emergency contraception was the result of political pressure by the Bush administration. “The decision, which left women of all ages without appropriate and timely access to emergency contraception, was a clear rejection of recommendations that had been based on extensive review and evaluation of the pertinent data,” she wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine.
This controversy was constantly cited in feminist indictments of the previous president. It was usually mentioned in critiques of Bush’s ideological, anti-empirical approach to science. That’s why women’s-health advocates and other progressives were so shocked yesterday when the Obama administration overruled an FDA recommendation to expand over-the-counter access to Plan B One-Step, a type of morning-after pill.
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