Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Politics of Plan B

This post is not about gender in commercials but discusses another topic related to my gender studies class. On Wednesday March 7, I was able to attend a presentation by Susan Wood at The College of New Jersey. Susan Wood was a former assistant FDA commissioner for women’s health and was also the director of the Office of Women’s Health. The topic of the issue was Plan B, the emergency contraception and the many issues that were raised because of it. Susan Wood discussed her resignation from the FDA due to the lack of action in approving the pill. Much of the discussion focused on the political side of this issue and the political issues that were the cause of such a hesitation by the FDA.

Susan Wood mentioned that the Plan B was a perfectly safe pill, yet the FDA took months and months to approve it. For any other medicine the approval process would be much faster, however because it was related to birth control the FDA was much more hesitant. The age of teens that should be restricted access to Plan B was also changed several times, eventually raising the age limit to 18. The political aspects of this pill being passed were related to the idea that they did not want to look like they were encouraging promiscuity in young teens. I believe that this pill should be accessible to teens of all ages in order to help prevent unwanted pregnancies from occurring. Politics should not be involved in the approval of Plan B because it is important for the safety of young teens. I am glad that I was able to attend this lecture because it I was able to learn new things about the Plan B contraception as well as insight into how complicated the process of its approval was. I was very impressed with Mrs. Wood’s resignation and how she stood up for what she believed in.