Dr. Susan Wood, director of the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health, resigned today in protest of the agency’s refusal to permit over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception. Last week, the FDA indefinitely postponed its decision over the matter, saying it wasn’t sure about the safety of over-the-counter use by adolescents. In 2003, however, the FDA’s own scientists declared the contraceptive drug, Plan B, safe for teenage girls. What short memories these bureaucrats have.
Since the Bush administration took office, it has repeatedly ignored its own scientists about global warming and pollution, and it was to be expected that FDA scientists would be ignored in the service of fake “pro-life” rhetoric. All over the nation, pharmacists refuse to fill prescriptions for morning-after pills, citing “the taking of a life” as the reason, when–if they really did graduate from pharmacy school–they know good and well that that is an out-and-out lie, and has nothing to do with the actual pharmaceutical process.
Or perhaps they, too, have really bad memories.
Controlling women’s and girls’ reproductive choices–controlling their bodies–has always been the first line of attack in the war against women. Determining who can have an abortion and why, who can use what kind of contraception, and what type of sexual assault is socially acceptable, is the most primitive aspect of rendering women powerless, and it is always done in the name of religion.
Women and girls who believe that their right to make decisions about their own body is guaranteed haven’t been paying attention. It is a right they have already lost.