It’s been years. Literally.
After two change elections, why is the FDA playing the same old games with women’s health?
On March 23, 2009, a federal court ordered the FDA to make the emergency contraception drug Plan B available to women 17 and older without a prescription. It is ludicrous—if not criminal, for the FDA to have ignored this order.
That’s why the Center for Reproductive Rights has filed a motion of contempt against the Food and Drug Administration. Maybe the FDA can be shamed into obeying the law.
Maybe the FDA can be shamed into following its own experts’ advice. Remember, when President Obama came into office, he promised his administration would “ make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.”
Well, “all of the scientific facts are there and FDA experts agree—emergency contraception has proven safe and effective to be sold over-the-counter to all ages,” according to Suzanne Novak, lead counsel in the case.
This is about much more than a woman’s right to purchase birth control. It’s about a woman’s right to be treated as an equal subject under the law.
If that isn’t made apparent by the fact that we’re splitting hairs over a year’s age difference (yes, the difference between minority and majority under the law, but still–can you imagine this discussion even happening if we were talking about the difference between seventeen and eighteen-year-old boys?) then think about condoms: a form of birth control. Meant to prevent pregnancy by keeping sperm from fertilizing an egg.
In other words, exactly what Plan B does.
Are there any age restrictions on the purchase of condoms? No, not anywhere in the country. Can you imagine a man of any age agreeing to a sit-down with his doctor every time he wanted to buy a condom? I know I can’t.
It’s time for the administration to grow up. Women are people, too. Treat us like you believe it.
Jodi is a freelance writer and recovering academic with more enthusiasm for sports than athletic talent and a prodigious taste for the health food known as dark chocolate.