BURYING PLAN B
As we’ve seen over and over, in the Bush Administration politics trumps science every time. Most recently, the Government Accountability Office exposed the FDA’s apparent cave-in to political pressure in its ruling against making Plan B, the morning-after pill, available without prescription. (Contrary to all studies, the religious right claims its greater availability would encourage promiscuity among teenagers.) The GAO called the FDA decision “unusual” and way out of line with its normal procedures on over-the-counter drugs. The secretive ruling by top FDA political appointees scorned the counsel of staff experts and an advisory panel, which recommended over-the-counter status by an overwhelming vote. A key dissenter on that advisory panel was one Dr. David Hager, a religious zealot and alleged wife abuser. His critical behind-the-scenes role in this regulatory travesty was described in our pages by Ayelish McGarvey (“Dr. Hager’s Family Values,” May 30). Hager is no longer an FDA adviser, but his bad advice lingers on in a very bad policy.