Wednesday, April 22, 2009

FDA Caves to Pressure, Plans to Endanger 17-Year-Olds

WASHINGTON, April 22 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to follow last month's ruling by a federal judge and make the controversial morning-after pill available to 17-year-olds without a prescription. Concerned Women for America's (CWA) President Wendy Wright, who spoke at the FDA's original hearing on the issue, stated:

"This decision is driven by politics, not what is good for patients or minors. Parents should be furious at the FDA's complete disregard for parental rights and the safety of minors.

"Plan B is a high-dose of birth control pills. The FDA requires a prescription for the lower dose of the same drug for good reason. It can cause blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes in healthy women. The FDA violated its standards when it made the high dose Plan B available non-prescription to adults. But now the FDA is making the drug available to minors without parental consent. Parents should be furious that the FDA is putting their minor daughters at risk.

"Even advocates for Plan B have admitted that it is not very effective and that making the drug non- prescription does not reduce pregnancies or abortions. A judge recently told the FDA to make Plan B available without a prescription for 17-year-olds. But his decision was based on false information -- that the drug is more effective than it has proven to be and that the FDA somehow violated its policies by not making the drug non-prescription. Just the opposite is true -- the FDA violated its standards by making a high-dose drug non-prescription when a low dose of the same drug requires a prescription.

"The FDA should have challenged the decision, especially its false premise. A judge's opinion can't change the fact that giving women a false impression about a drug's effectiveness forces the FDA to become snake oil salesmen.

"Pregnancy counselors report that women are relying on Plan B as a regular form of birth control because it is easy to get. They are not aware that it is less effective than other methods of birth control and that it has not been tested to determine the effects of using it multiple times.

"Women, parents, and children who rely on the FDA to do their job deserve better than this shoddy decision."

Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.