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Contraception Debate Delays Nomination of FDA Chief

Schweddy

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Source: Washigton Post

The nomination of Lester M. Crawford to be commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration was put on indefinite hold yesterday by two Democratic senators to protest the administration's long delay in deciding whether to allow non-prescription sales of the emergency contraceptive Plan B.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced the hold after a 30-minute meeting with Crawford yesterday that she said ended without a commitment regarding when the Plan B issue might be resolved. She said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) joined her in blocking a vote on the confirmation until the FDA acts.


Murray said that the administration appears to be making a "political and ideological decision" regarding Plan B, and that "there is no scientific reason for this approval to not go forward." She said the FDA's credibility as a science-based agency "is on the line."

Crawford, FDA's acting commissioner, left the meeting in Murray's office without commenting. Clinton and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) also attended the meeting.


The FDA approved emergency contraception in 1999 as a prescription-only drug. Its manufacturer, Barr Laboratories, applied for approval to sell Plan B without a prescription in April 2003, and an agency advisory panel voted 23 to 4 to support the application later that year. FDA's scientific staff also strongly recommended approval.

Steven Galson, acting director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, surprised many by rejecting the application last May. The FDA was supposed to decide on a revised application in January, but it has taken no action.

The question of whether emergency contraception should be available without a prescription has become contentious -- with social conservatives saying it would encourage young women to be promiscuous and advocates of wider use saying it would prevent pregnancies that could result in abortions.

If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, Plan B works like a contraceptive and prevents ovulation, fertilization or implantation of a fertilized egg. The most generally accepted definition of when life begins is when a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus, but some religious conservatives believe it happens when the egg is fertilized and consider emergency contraception a form of abortion.
Is this abortion with a pill or are the democrats pulling whatever they can out of the air for a political agenda?
 

shuamort

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I think it's more about preventing the FDA from circumventing laws. As it stands now, abortion is legal in the US for the first trimester. The FDA has not given any scientific evidence that this pill isn't consumer ready. The FDA also has no business making ideological stance on drugs, that's what Congress is for.
 

Contrarian

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vauge said:
Is this abortion with a pill or are the democrats pulling whatever they can out of the air for a political agenda?
I'm surprised at you Vauge... your question was neither fair, nor balanced :rwbelepha

It is called "Contraception" - against conception. Quite simple actually. It prevents the uterine wall from accepting the floating cell. This happens regularly under natural conditions when for a variety of reasons implantation is not in the best interest (physiologically or biochemically) of the host. What Plan B is an accepted and legal medical treatment.

For a reasonable person living in the 21st Century - Contraception is superior to facing an abortion and the ideologs in government need to stay out of everyones lives.
 

Amused

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shuamort said:
The FDA also has no business making ideological stance on drugs, that's what Congress is for.
*Quivers* I honestly can't say that Congress has any right, at all to make an ideological stance on anything that involves a persons right to choose. At all. I would almost rather have the FDA do it as a lesser evil because at least they have to know something about the drug to be where they are. *Quivers again*
 
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