From the New York Times, evidence of…
A federal judge ordered the Food and Drug Administration on Monday to make the Plan B morning-after birth control pill available without prescription to women as young as 17.
The judge ruled that the agency had improperly bowed to political pressure from the Bush administration in 2006 when it set 18 as the age limit.
The agency has 30 days to comply with the order, in which the judge also urged the agency to consider removing all restrictions on over-the-counter sales of Plan B. The drug consists of two pills that prevent conception if taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse.
Citing depositions, Judge Korman wrote that agency officials had improperly communicated with White House officials about Plan B. And, he said, F.D.A. employees sought to influence decisions by appointing people with anti-abortion views to an independent panel of experts reviewing Plan B for the agency.
The agency also departed from its normal procedures, the judge wrote, by ignoring favorable conclusions about the drug by an advisory panel as well its own scientists and officials who found that the drug could be safely used by women at least as young as 17.
Such “political considerations, delays and implausible justifications” showed that the F.D.A. had acted without good faith or reasoned decision making, Judge Korman wrote.
This could turn into a fun judicial game: find how many different federal agencies can be legally compelled to change something because of Bush administration officials’ placing conservative ideology ahead of science.