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Women's Bodies, Women's Health

Punished for Promoting Plan B: Is the Office of Women’s Health Slated for Elimination?


Most Americans, I believe, labor under the assumption that when Congress appropriates funds for some federal office or agency, barring emergencies, the funds will materialize as appropriated.  At the very least, I think most Americans trust that presidential administrations will not withhold monies duly appropriated by Congress in order to punish agencies for supporting courses of action which irritate the President and the Administration for some reason.  In fact, that trust and belief is misplaced, in that the Bush Administration apparently has no problem cutting funds in retribution for anti-conservative activism, as a story now unfolding demonstrates. 

Last week word came down that the FDA intends to withhold $1.2 million of the $4 million budgeted for the Office of Women’s Health, effectively halting further operations for the rest of the year,  in that $2.8 million of the $4 million has already been spent or otherwise allocated.  Women’s health advocates believe this might be the payback they have been fearing for the ruckus the Office of Women’s Health caused when it advocated for nonprescription sales of Plan B, emergency contraception which can prevent pregnancy if contraceptives fail or  for women who have been raped or had unprotected sex.  A compromise was reached last August allowing over-the-counter sales of Plan B to people at least 18 years old, but not before the head of the Office of Women’s  Health had resigned.

If what appears to be a slashing of this budget actually is retribution for the OWC’s support of nonprescription Plan B, it may, some say, mean the Office of Women’s Health is slated for elimination.  The OWC was created in 1994 when it was recognized that women had special needs which were being given short shrift by the FDA. Since its creation, the OWC has published more than 200 research articles in scientific journals, and OWC fact sheets and publications have generated record-breaking responses.

Link, and thanks to pony for the heads up.




9 thoughts on “Punished for Promoting Plan B: Is the Office of Women’s Health Slated for Elimination?

  1. More on Plan B.

    Planned Parenthood Pill Patrol

    “Planned Parenthood has had numerous reports of women being denied access in their pharmacies. We are asking for your help. Today, Planned Parenthood is launching the next phase of its campaign to protect women’s health — a nationwide grassroots effort to ensure that EC is available in every neighborhood in America.

    During the month of March, Planned Parenthood needs hundreds of volunteers to join its Pill Patrol and attempt to purchase emergency contraception at neighborhood Costco, Target, Wal-Mart, and Supervalue/Osco stores.

    Joining the Pill Patrol is easy. When you sign up to survey a store in your neighborhood, you’ll receive an activist toolkit that includes easy instructions, a script, and a phone number to call if you have any questions.

    Your participation is crucial to the success of this campaign. Make sure women in your community have access to emergency contraception — join the Pill Patrol today.

    Survey Your Local Pharmacy

    When Planned Parenthood confirms a report of a woman being denied access to emergency contraception, it will spring into action to make sure pharmacies fill women’s prescriptions. Planned Parenthood will demand meetings with the offending pharmacy, apply public pressure through advertisements and national letter-writing campaigns, and bring to bear the power of the entire Planned Parenthood organization on behalf of women’s health.

    Posted by Pony | March 7, 2007, 10:18 pm
  2. The easiest way these people will accomplish what they’re trying to do will be if the whole thing happens under the radar of those it will affect. I e-mailed the article to the people I know and I hope others will do the same.

    Posted by gingermiss | March 9, 2007, 7:30 pm
  3. Isn’t this the office Bush tried to appoint a veterinarian to head?

    Posted by Branjor | March 10, 2007, 12:00 am
  4. March 18, 2007: Plan B Available Over-the-Counter for Women 18 and Older


    The FDA has approved Plan B, a contraceptive drug, as an over-the-counter (OTC) option for women ages 18 and older. Plan B is often referred to as emergency contraception, or the “morning after pill.” It contains an ingredient used in prescription birth control pills—only in the case of Plan B, each pill contains a higher dose and the product has a different dosing regimen.

    Like other birth control pills, Plan B has been available to all women as a prescription drug. When used as directed, Plan B effectively and safely prevents pregnancy. Plan B, approved in August, will remain available as a prescription-only product for women ages 17 and younger.

    Duramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Pomona, N.Y., a subsidiary of Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc., will make Plan B available with a rigorous labeling, packaging, education, distribution, and monitoring program. In the CARE (Convenient Access, Responsible Education) program, Duramed commits to providing consumers and health care professionals with labeling and education about the appropriate use of prescription and OTC Plan B, including an informational toll-free number for questions about Plan B ensuring that distribution of Plan B will be only through licensed drug wholesalers, retail operations with pharmacy services, and clinics with licensed health care practitioners, and not through convenience stores or other retail outlets where it could be made available to younger women without a prescription, designing packaging to hold both OTC and prescription Plan B.

    Plan B will be stocked by pharmacies behind the counter because it cannot be dispensed without a prescription or proof of age monitoring the effectiveness of the age restriction and the safe distribution of OTC Plan B to consumers 18 and older and prescription Plan B to women younger than 18.

    For More Information:

    Posted by Pony | March 19, 2007, 4:52 pm
  5. “Plan B will be stocked by pharmacies behind the counter because it cannot be dispensed without a prescription or proof of age monitoring the effectiveness of the age restriction and the safe distribution of OTC Plan B to consumers 18 and older and prescription Plan B to women younger than 18.”

    What is the purpose of the age restriction?

    Posted by Divine Purpose | March 19, 2007, 7:30 pm
  6. The purpose for the age restriction is the government’s way of keeping Plan B out of the hands of teens. The age limitation is purely political. Empirical medical research shows it is safe for women of all ages and certainly safer than an unplanned pregnancy.

    Posted by Powerful PeeWee | March 19, 2007, 9:54 pm
  7. I’m not American, but I think it could be similar to concerns around what age birth control can be given to a young woman without parental consent.

    Posted by Pony | March 20, 2007, 5:19 pm
  8. hmmm… so I would guess it is better for these young women to end up pregnant, with no education, nor means to support herself and her child… than to prevent her pregnancy? GREAT MOVE politics….

    I feel that just as it is easy for young men to get condoms at age 9, it should be easy for young teens to get birth control. Not giving it to them isnt going to stop sex, it will just make it a bit safer, though condoms are safer than pills because pills only prevent pregnancy, NOT STD/STI’s…. sigh.. I was just on Ginger’s blog and I told her I was going to go and see how easy it is here, in boston, to get the plan B… she has a terrible story there about just how difficult it is.

    Posted by Divine Purpose | March 20, 2007, 6:35 pm
  9. womens health should be given more priority since the reproductive parts of the female is more prone to disease as they age. :,”*”

    Our new web blog

    Posted by Ngoc Glave | October 9, 2012, 4:39 am

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