Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the scientists at the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday and refused to allow emergency contraceptives to be sold as freely as aspirin, setting up just the kind of clash between politics and science that President Obama had promised to avoid.
Under the law, Ms. Sebelius has the authority to overrule the agency, according to an F.D.A. spokeswoman, but no health secretary has ever done so before. Her decision continues a history of political meddling in the agency’s decisions regarding emergency contraceptives that tarnished the drug administration’s credibility during the Bush administration. Ms. Sibelius’s decision to overrule a recommendation by government scientists will also almost certainly reverberate in this presidential election season.
Thank you, Kathleen Sebelius and the administration, for killing our hopes for that this decade-long political debacle was finally coming to a close. Read her statement here, and the FDA’s statement here. At the very least, the decision reveals the blatancy of the political bullshit behind this ridiculousness. Now let’s do something about it; call HHS at 1-877-696-6775 — tell them politics should have no bearing on our access to health care.
More to come.