"Morning-after" pill delays

| Wed Apr. 13, 2005 5:35 PM EDT

Here's a study I haven't seen that seems important to get out there. Much of the carping by conservatives over infamous the Plan B "morning-after" pill—which still has yet to be approved for over-the-counter sale by the FDA—has focused on the assumption that the pill would make women more likely to engage in "icky" sexual activity. Now we can argue whether or not you think this is a reasonable argument—I certainly don't—but what would be nice to have are facts.

And now it looks like we do. According to researchers at the University of California, in a study done earlier this year, increased access to the pill does not affect sexual behavior. What the pill does do, of course, is help reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancies. More to the point, the pill helps reduce the number of abortions—which in theory should be exactly what conservatives would like to see. So file that alongside all the other mountains of evidence indicating that the pill is perfectly safe and effective for women.

Unfazed by the scientific method, however, the Bush administration is delaying yet again an FDA confirmation vote on approving the pill. So now the Senate is getting into the matter, as Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray have promised to hold up the nomination of Lester Crawford to FDA commissioner spot until the controversy gets resolved. And hopefully it does soon. By the by, Chris Mooney wrote a piece for Mother Jones about the holdup, and the controversy, surrounding the pill a few months back that's worth a read.

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