U.S. District Judge Edward Korman says that the Food and Drug Administration’s refusal to approve Plan B for over-the-counter use by juvenile girls was politically motivated.
“These political considerations, delays, and implausible justifications for decision-making are not the only evidence of a lack of good faith and reasoned decision-making,” Korman said. “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 product from prescription to non-prescription use.”
Korman’s justification for his ruling is that the FDA rejected the advice of a committee it assembled to review the question of allowing minors access to the drug. Was the committee’s opinion binding in some way? Undoubtedly not. Still, the facts may be as Korman has stated them.
What is clear is that 17-year-old girls are still subject to parental control, making the issue one that, like abortion, concerns parents just as much as it does the sexually active teen. The parents’ legal rights and responsibilities now seem to have been swept aside in favor of those of minors engaged in ill-advised activities.
Will another birth control opportunity help reduce total teenage pregnancies? Or will it provide another excuse for teens to have sex long before they are mentally, physically, or fiscally ready to assume responsibility for their actions?
Sounds like a Master’s thesis question waiting to be developed.