FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford resigns

(Huzzah!) Well there’s some good news. Bush’s ‘golden boy’ of the FDA has resigned from his post. Though I’m sure she’s pleased in seeing this, Interim President of Planned Parenthood, Karen Pearl, calls for science to return to the FDA’s decision-making, and for politics and ideology–namely anti-reproductive-rights politics and ideology–to be abandoned. No doubt that politics and ideology has certainly impeded the FDA’s ability to approve Plan B and deal with women’s health in a responsible manner. Potentially dangerous breast-implants are okay, but not emergency contraception? Anyway…

“Women’s health suffered under Dr. Crawford’s tenure. The FDA has ignored its public health responsibilities, repeatedly refusing to issue a decision on the application to make Plan B emergency contraception (EC) available over the counter. During more than two years that the application has been pending, greater access to EC could have prevented 3.4 million unintended pregnancies and 1.6 million abortions*.

“The FDA has become a politicized agency and has ignored its mandate to safeguard the public health. In the process it has lost the credibility and respect it has traditionally enjoyed. The resignation of Dr. Susan Wood from the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health in protest over the delay in issuing a decision on EC was further proof of the politics that had trumped science under Dr. Crawford’s tenure. Causing further confusion and illustrating its internal disarray, only last week, in quick succession, the FDA named two acting directors to replace Dr. Wood.

“The FDA has led an ideologically motivated effort to keep a safe and effective drug out of women’s hands. We are hopeful that this resignation signals a new day for the FDA, one in which the FDA will resume its public health responsibilities and make decisions focused on science, not politics.”

And I just can’t wait to see Crawford’s replacement, not that I’m expecting much. Now for some bad news which you saw coming a hundred miles away. The Senate Judiciary Committee has given Roberts the ‘okay’ by a 13-5 split. And I have to agree with my fellow pro-choice bloggers that it’s now time for NARAL to withdraw its support of Chafee for obvious reasons, along with any pro-choice Democrat (and alleged pro-choice Republican) who votes in favor of Roberts’ confirmation. Next we have the ‘fight-to-the-death’ battle over O’Connor’s replacementwhoopie. Will the Dems disappoint us again with another ‘okay’ vote, though it’s to be expected when dealing with them? Oh and by the way, Ohio hates women’s reproductive rights and is purposely trying to push an anti-abortion bill through, that lawmakers hope will act as a “trigger-case” to overturn Roe. Wow, what a fun week. But don’t worry ladies, if things get any worse in the way of our reproductive rights (or the possible lack thereof, to be extremist just for a moment) just remember, we’ll always have Mexico. (sarcasm)

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11 Responses to FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford resigns

  1. 1
    Kyra says:

    Glad Crawford’s out, although I have about as much faith in his being replaced with someone competent as George Bush has in my religion (which is the one that he said wasn’t a real religion back in his governer days). Absolute agreement on what NARAL should do, with a “duh” added somewhere.

    The Ohio problem, however, is SEVERELY understated here. It is considerably more than a “trigger case” should it get passed and successfully defended in court. It bans all abortions in Ohio. No health exception, no rape/incest exception, no mother’s life exception. And no travel across state lines to get an abortion out-of-state. (No life exception for that either.) Bush Vs Choice has more info and links to the legislation in question; it’s a huge maze of legalese, but you might get something out of it (I got pissed as hell out of it, for example). I typed a huge rant about it, but have yet to find somewhere where it won’t violate the posting rules—much of it is graphically obscene, and I’m damn proud of it. It is on my school computer and I’m on my home one, so I can’t try here, but I will deliver the last and most accurate observation, which is that the people in charge of Ohio are dangerous and blissfully ignorant proto-fascist slime.

  2. 2
    alsis39 says:

    Will the Dems disappoint us again with another ‘okay’ vote, though it’s to be expected when dealing with them?


    Is water wet ? The commencement of the ritual devouring of Feingold’s soul –if he ever had one– in preparation for the 2008 campaign is also duly noted. Why does anyone still read whingers like Nichols or The Nation anyway ? The Democrats could replace their donkey logo with a cartoon version of Torquemada and 99% of these twits would still insist that we all shut up and vote for them.

  3. 3
    Pseudo-Adrienne says:

    Well maybe if it was Mel Brooks’ version of Torquemada–….:-) Yeah, it’s the usual “shut-up and do what we say, give us your votes, money, blah, blah.” Very irritating. They sound like the DailyKos; “quit worrying about your little “pet-causes” like reproductive rights and women’s rights in general, and let the big boys handle this, and oh do vote for us regardless.” The Dems just keep digging their own graves, but a grudging kudos to Kennedy, Feinstein, Biden, and the other Dems who voted against Roberts. But it’s still bitter-sweet.

    And you’re right Kyra, Ohio’s just f**kin’ scary right now. And I live next door to them! I feel bad for the women and even girls of Ohio a.k.a. the future Gilead of the Midwest.

  4. 4
    ol cranky says:

    I’m guessing Crawford was forced out – they announced von Eschenbach as a interim commissioner within hours. von Eschenbach has a history that will make pro and anti-choicers leery as he initially capitulated to the anti-choicers by removing an NCI fact sheet indicating there was no solid evidence to back their belief that induced abortions have a causal relationship to breast cancer but then bowed to pressure for a thorough scientific review of the literature which led to the fact sheet being reinstated. Unfortunately, in interviews he defended his original decision to remove the fact sheet. . . he’s an old friend of the Bush family in a much more powerful position than he was in at the NCI, scientists and clinicians will have to keep a closer eye on him to ensure science, not religion or politics, is the final arbiter of agency decisions.

  5. 5
    alsis39 says:

    Some dipshit on Kos just acused NOW and/or other “special interests” of being “shrill” in their condemnation of Leahy’s vote for Roberts.

    There may be hope for NOW, after all. :D

  6. 6
    Xristim says:

    Good heavens! I’m 71, and I thought we’d already fought and won this battle. Having to watch young women go through it again is, at the very least, exceedingly upsetting. After reading and listening to some of the conservative side, I conclude it’s their general practice to hobble-tether their wives to backyard trees, bringing them in only during rutting season for breeding purposes. That is less astonishing than that the women apparently agree to it. I’d be doing a Lysistrata number that would bring tears to Aristophanes’ eyes — not to mention every man who wanted to share my bed. (I mean, I wasn’t ALWAYS 71, ladies!)

    There are so many appalling aspects to the resurgence of this issue. Not least among them is my absolute conviction that the overturning of Roe v. Wade will affect only poor women who cannot seek services in another country because they don’t have the fare. Wealthy women will do as they damned well please.

    Because I fear the spread of the Bush gene pool, which I consider deleterious to the race, I had been calling for the spaying of the Lint Twins (my name for the Bush girls, who, like lint, are neither useful nor decorative). I now see that what is really needed is for one (better both) of them to become pregnant out of wedlock — assuming they aren’t or haven’t already been. And, of course, for the biological father(s) to decline participation in a shotgun wedding, and for no surrogate to step forward for dollars, Bush, and country — or however they’d attempt to get compliance.

    I suppose my carrying a sign in a demonstration would be comic relief, at my age — let’s face it, if I found myself pregnant, I might eschew abortion myself in favor of a lucrative TV ministry. Virgin birth would be a big draw, I’m sure. No, joking aside, I’ve been writing, calling, faxing, and e-mailing in support of women’s choice for a long while. I’ll continue.

    As a species, we came from the cave dragging a lump of dumb. It’s been gathering moss and twigs and is apparently getting bigger all the time. What next? revocation of women’s suffrage? Return to status as chattel?

    Good luck, ladies — keep fighting.

  7. 7
    NancyP says:

    OK, what’s that hanging out of the cartoon crack that Amp has so kindly provided? Oh, I see, that’s a factoid emerging from Ms. Yale-girl-hausfrau Story’s asscrack (see next post).

    I have to say that the appointment of von Eschenbach to FDA is infuriating, as I have a personal dislike of people who inflict needless pain on breast cancer patients. Not to mention, I am sick of explaining to students and practitioners that there IS no abortion: breast cancer connection. Why do epidemiology if you are going to ignore the results? von E. is a physician, and as such has a higher responsibility to the truth, one which I see he violated. But the Bush administration, and most of its scientific/medical appointees, has no respect for science. I can respect a physician who is personally opposed to abortion for religious reasons (though I disagree); I can’t respect one who makes up “facts”.

  8. 8
    Pseudo-Adrienne says:

    OK, what’s that hanging out of the cartoon crack that Amp has so kindly provided?


  9. 9
    RonF says:

    Not least among them is my absolute conviction that the overturning of Roe v. Wade will affect only poor women who cannot seek services in another country because they don’t have the fare.

    Overturning Roe vs. Wade won’t outlaw abortion in this country. It’ll put thing to status quo ante, wherein the several states will have juristiction within their own borders. Yes, poor women will still have problems in getting somewhere to get an abortion in states where they are illegal, but they won’t need passports. Unless you think all of the states are going to outlaw abortions.

  10. 10
    NancyP says:

    “OK, what’s that hanging out of the cartoon crack that Amp has so kindly provided?”


    That cartoon line separating the posts, out of which something emerges, sometimes a tail, sometimes a hand, sometimes an eyeball, sometimes a head. One of the more unique and charming aspects of the site. When I wrote my post a few days ago, just a single digit, or a tail, was hanging out of that cartoon line. Apparently the cartoons change, now it’s two hands, and eyes peering out.

  11. 11
    Emily says:

    What is it with this administration appointing people who are ANIMAL professionals? Mike Brown, FEMA–Int’l Arabian Horse Association Judge. Lester Crawford, Veterinarian (DVM)….

    Is it any surprise he doesn’t support contraception? In his line of work there is none for animals short of neutering or spaying!!!