The Plan B, morning after birth control pill has been available in the United States since 1999 by prescription.
In 2001 the Food and Drug Administration were asked to make the drug, which must be taken quite soon after sexual intercourse, available over the counter.
Despite pressure from the World Health Organization and other groups, they took no action.
Then in 2006, the FDA bowed to political pressure from the Bush administration and restricted this facility to women aged over eighteen.
Thankfully commonsense prevailed and a federal judge recently forced them to lower the age limit to 17 year olds. Women’s health issues such as these for a long period have been driven not by science but by party politics.
Former FDA director, Susan F.Wood who actually resigned, after the decision taken back in 2006, was pleased with this move. She said it was a sign that the agency could become the independent body that it was set up to be.
The FDA is still only reviewing the recommendations made by the judge and is yet to make the change.
The judge found in examining the evidence that certain members of the FDA had acted improperly over Plan B birth control pill [side effects of birth control pills]. In some cases, individuals with more extreme views on these issues were appointed in order to influence matters in a particular direction.
Normal procedures were abandoned and scientific evidence, that the drug was not harmful to younger women was simply ignored. The decision by Judge Korman has been welcomed by various women’s health groups.