At the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Science Is Not The Only Criteria For Contraceptive Product Approval

By Donald A. Collins | 3 July 2014
Church and State

(Credit: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

After proving with the Supreme Court’s recent Catholic dominated decisions on abortion clinic access and the right of women to get contraception under the employer health plans of family owned businesses of any size, we know the power of this male dominated monotheistic sect has now gone miles toward accomplishing goal: Deny women and their families basic human rights and the fundamental democratic means to fulfill them.

Earlier this same attitude has led to the frequent dilution of Roe v Wade in many parts of the USA. In short, these anti choice proponents are delighted to kill or maim women in pursuit of their ideology.

Perhaps the greatest irony is the fact that there are women’s groups who work to take away the freedom of choice from members of their own sex.

Are these misguided women playing dogs in the manger (e.g. you know “I had more kids than I wanted and now rest of you have to take your medicine”) or just sadly willing to bend their knees to religious dogma which has actually no certain mandate in the Catholic Church’s history? Professor Daniel Maguire’s writings on this subject will prove enlightening, but I guess the present Vatican crowd and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops are more interested in controlling women than caring for them.

In light of these recent developments, it was particularly interesting for me to read a powerful recent book on how the FDA has treated contraceptive product applications.

It is “Reproductive Rights and the State: Getting the Birth Control, RU-486, and Morning-After Pills and the Gardasil Vaccine to the U.S. Market”. (Praeger, 2013, 184 pp)

This book was earlier reviewed by Kelly C. Cleland in Conscience, the Catholics for Choice magazine.

After the recent Supreme Court decision in the Hobby contraceptive case where 5 old Catholic Justices slammed women who worked for a family owned company with a ridiculous decision, it is particularly useful to reviewing, as this well researched book does so thoroughly the FDA’s history.

It reveals the fact that the power of some anti birth control ideologues inside the FDA have clearly made getting new contraceptive approvals very difficult. Bring up this prompt and read for yourself.

Reviewer Cleland excerpts information from this important 2013 book that likely will frighten anyone who thinks the FDA approval process is based on scientific evidence gathered by well monitored and reputable researchers.

Far from it!

Examples: “Haussman details the often convoluted processes behind achieving FDA approval and bringing the product to market, highlighting the complex interplay of cor and political interests that impeded or expedited the availability of each product in the US.”

Or: “In the case of emergency contraception, the agency’s mechanisms were used to impede and stall, rather than facilitate, availability.”

Whereas, “in the case of Gardasil, however, these same tools were used to expedite the approval of a new vaccine that had more to do with pressure exerted by the pharmaceutical industry than it did with public health.”

This book is a must read for anyone contemplating dealings with the FDA.

It is hardly heartening to realize that with this kind of FDA treatment of vital new means for insuring women’s reproductive health and the Supreme Court’s Male Catholic birth control constabulary waiting to pounce on contraceptive prevalence that women have every reason to wonder what dangers will come next from our government on their basic human rights.

Actually, one need not guess if the future is illuminated by the past, for by simply looking at the attacks on Roe v Wade by a host of Catholic and other monotheistic male dominated sects, a pattern of intrusive brutality can be readily discerned.

Then add the numerous murders of choice providers, the intimidating verbal and physical threats from haters of women’s reproductive rights, and the behind the scenes efforts by hidden ideological forces located throughout our government, one sees the chance for women’s reproductive rights to be even further denigrated in the future.

As the human numbers reach 8 billion by 2020 with the prospect of reaching 10 or 11 billion in this century, any hindrance by any entity or person that interferes with any woman from having the number of children she wants (or does not want) should be regarded as criminally immoral and should be considered a felony punishable under any reasonable Rule of Law!

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

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