Roundup: Federal Judge Rules FDA Must Reconsider EC Decision

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Roundup: Federal Judge Rules FDA Must Reconsider EC Decision

Emily Douglas

Federal court orders FDA to reconsider emergency contraception decision; Oklahoma legislature considers sex-selective abortion; National Advocates for Pregnant Women creates video on effects of "egg-as-person" laws; comment on the HHS rule!

Federal Court Orders FDA to Reconsider Emergency Contraception Decision
federal court yesterday ordered the FDA to reconsider its decision to
restrict over-the-counter access to emergency contraception to women
older than 18 only, the Washington Post reports
"U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman in New York instructed the agency
to make Plan B available to 17-year-olds within 30 days and to review
whether to make the emergency contraceptive available to all ages
without a doctor’s order."  Judge Korman also noted the "political and
ideological" nature of the delayed decision: "These political
considerations, delays and implausible justifications
for decision-making are not the only evidence of a lack of good faith
and reasoned agency decision-making," he wrote. "Indeed, the record is
clear that the FDA’s course of conduct regarding Plan B departed in
significant ways from the agency’s normal procedures regarding similar
applications to switch a drug from prescription to non-prescription

Importantly, reporter Rob Stein notes,


Susan F. Wood of George Washington University, who resigned from the
FDA because of the agency’s delays, noted that several officials
involved in the decision are either still at the agency or in other key
government positions, including Janet Woodcock, who heads the FDA’s
drug approval office, and Steven Galson, now acting surgeon general and
assistant secretary of health. But Wood and others said they are
confident that the new leadership at the agency will make Plan B widely
available after reviewing the case.

Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.

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Oklahoma Legislature Considers Sex-Selective Abortion
Senate Health and Human Services Committee will hold hearings this week
on a bill that would ban sex-selective abortion in the state — without
evidence that sex-selective abortion is occurring in the state (let
alone considering whether restricting it would be constitutional).  "We believe this is occurring in other states," Sen. Todd Lamb said to the Tulsa World.
"We didn’t
want it to occur for convenience, to eliminate human life."  Oklahoma’s
ultrasound requirement bill, passed last session, is already subject to
a lawsuit.

National Advocates for Pregnant Women Creates Video on Effects of "Egg-as-Person" Laws
On the Words of Choice blog,
Cindy Cooper writes in admiration of a new video by the National
Advocates for Pregnant Women, who have released a video showing how
laws that define life as beginning at fertilization would negatively
affect women who want to carry their pregnancies to term in addition to
those who seek to terminate.  Cindy writes,

What are the dangers? "How Personhood USA and the Bills They Support Will Hurt ALL Pregnant Women"
describes in four-to-five minutes on its video the cases of women who
wanted vaginal births but were ordered to have their stomachs cut open
in a Cesarean by a court because a doctor or hospital decided that was best under "fetus counts first" analyses. "These laws would affect ALL pregnant women," the video explains.

What’s really great is that NAPW
stepped out of the policy-wonk bubble and used a little creativity to
describe in clear and factually accurate terms what can sometimes seem
obscure or complex. When the propaganda of the anti-choicers is sliced away, it’s pretty simple — these "personhood" laws would benefit no one and be a disaster for women.

Jodi Picault on Wrongful-Birth Lawsuits
Jodi Picault does a fascinating interview with Good Reads on her new book, Handle with Care, which examines the culture and impact of wrongful-birth lawsuits.

Comment on the HHS Rule!
forget: the Obama administration needs to hear that you support the
rescinding of the HHS regulation that would enable providers to deny
care to women without even telling them about it!  The Center for
Reproductive Rights is running a campaign for advocates of undoing the rule:

The Center for Reproductive Rights urges you
to take action to protect women’s health. On March 6, the Obama
administration officially proposed to rescind a health regulation
that would drastically hinder women’s ability to get reproductive health
including basic care such as contraception, counseling and information
necessary to make decisions about their own health.  The regulation was
issued in December by the Department of Health and Human Services shortly
before President George W. Bush left office.

Under the rule, people only marginally
related to providing healthcare and an increased number of medical institutions
are allowed to refuse a woman care based on religious or moral beliefs. 

You have until April 9 to tell HHS that the
rule must go! Submit comments on the HHS website or email them to [email protected].

Click here to see the Center’s
statement in support of Obama’s move to rescind the HHS rule.

Other News to Note
March 23: Maine Has Second Lowest Birth Rate in Country

March 23: KIMT: Family Planning Clinics Expecting Boom

March 23: Life News: Missouri Group Accuses Gov. Jay Nixon of Unfairly Targeting Pro-Life Advocates

March 23: WZZM: Economic decline generates interest in new contraceptive

March 23: CBN News: Abortion Doctor Faces 19 Charges

March 23: AP: Huckabee likens abortion to slavery at Jefferson City fundraiser

March 23: SLT: A.G. rejects anti-abortion group’s defense offer Legal challenge?

March 23: Tennessean:Tenn. abortion amendment passes Senate

March 23: Kansas City Star: Economy? What economy? Mo. legislature preoccupied with abortion

March 23: NYT: Giving Condoms to Your 14-Year-Old?

March 23: Wired Magazine: Found Photoshop Contest: The Future of Birth Control

March 23: WISH: Couples emphasizing family planning: More people investing in contraceptives