With liberty and Plan B for all

A federal judge rules that a reproductive-rights group can subpoena the White House.


Adrienne So
November 9, 2006 4:24AM (UTC)

Four years into the fight to increase the accessibility of Plan B, the Associated Press reported today that federal magistrate judge Viktor Pohorelsky has ruled that the Center for Reproductive Rights can subpoena the White House for Plan B-related documents.

The documents in question? E-mails, letters and conversation records between the White House's domestic policy office and Food and Drug Administration officials. The reason? To search for evidence that the White House interfered with a request to allow over-the-counter sales by manufacturer Barr Pharmaceuticals. (Rather incriminatingly, the White House tried to block the subpoena. But then, they probably try to block every subpoena.) Besides the communications records, the group will also be taking testimony from Dr. Sandra Kweder, deputy director of the FDA's office of new drugs, and Jay Lefkowitz, a former White House domestic policy aide.

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Despite a staggering array of obstacles and delays, the FDA gradually seems to be coming around on Plan B. Earlier this year, the agency approved the sale of over-the-counter emergency contraception, though only to women 18 and over. The Center for Reproductive Rights is currently suing the FDA to lift these age restrictions.

We hail Judge Pohorelsky's decision as one more signpost along the long, convoluted path to emergency contraception for all. Take a note from "Star Trek," FDA, and step aside. Resistance is futile, and women's rights will not be denied.


Adrienne So

Adrienne So is an editorial fellow at Salon.

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