By Charles Pugsley Fincher, A Part of

I had May 21 tickled on my calendar as the date that the Food and Drug Administration would decide on whether or not the morning-after pill (also called emergency contraception and Plan B) would be approved for over-the-counter sales. However, the F.D.A. rejected the pill for over-the-counter sales last week on Thursday or Friday. I was left wondering if the decision was announced amid the buzz about Donald Rumsfeld testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee to bury it as a news item.

As shown in the cartoon the F.D.A. expert panel overwhelmingly recommended the approval. However, social conservatives pressured the F.D.A. to turn it down. As has happened frequently with the Bush administration politics trumps science. 05.12.04

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