Fourteen Senators demand Sebelius explain EC decision

The feminist and reproductive health community is still reeling from HHS Secretary Sebelius’ decision to go against FDA recommendation regarding allowing Plan B to be accessible without a prescription for all women.

I was refreshed to see that there are Senators who are reeling as well. A letter has been signed by 14 Senators demanding that Sebelius explain the science behind this decision.

The text of the letter:

We are writing to express our disappointment with your December 7, 2011 decision to block the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommendation to make Plan B One-Step available over-the-counter. We feel strongly that FDA regulations should be based on science.  We write to you today to ask that you provide us with the rationale for this decision.

As numerous medical societies and patient advocates have argued, improved access to birth control, including emergency contraception, has been proven to reduce unintended pregnancies.  Nearly half of all pregnancies that occur in the United States each year are unintended. Keeping Plan B behind the counter makes it harder for all women to obtain a safe and effective product they may need to prevent an unintended pregnancy.

The letter continues:

We ask that you share with us your specific rationale and the scientific data you relied on for the decision to overrule the FDA recommendation. On behalf of the millions of women we represent, we want to be assured that this and future decisions affecting women’s health will be based on medical and scientific evidence.

The fourteen Senators we can thank for standing up against this decision:

Patty Murray
Kirsten Gillibrand
Barbara Boxer
Richard Blumenthal
Daniel Akaka
Carl Levin
John Kerry
Tom Harkin
Al Franken
Frank Lautenberg
Bernie Sanders
Ron Wyden
Maria Cantwell
Jeff Merkley

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