Oh no they didn’t.February 28, 2007 at 9:54 am | Posted in assholes, blogging for choice, breaking news, the forg | 3 Comments
One of last year’s big victories for reproductive health in the US was FDA approval for over-the-counter access to emergency contraception, known as Plan B. During the debate on this issue, the FDA agency Office of Women’s Health found itself front-and-center, not least because former director Susan Wood resigned after the FDA’s initial decision to withhold approval of making emergency contraception OTC.
And now what? What do you think? The 2007 fiscal year started with the OWH allocated a $4 million budget, the same amount as in previous years.
In and of itself, that deserves a pause. Four million dollars. That’s it! Women’s health gets a measly fucking four million dollars. Clearly, this is a high priority for our government. And guess what’s gonna happen to that number.
Last week, however, word came down that the FDA intends to withhold $1.2 million of that, apparently for use elsewhere in the agency. Because the remaining $2.8 million has already been spent or allocated for salaries and started projects, the office must effectively halt further operations for the rest of the year, according to a high-level agency official with knowledge of the budget plan, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official is not authorized to speak publicly.
In other words, the FDA has decided ‘We don’t care about women’s health for the rest of 2007. Go celebrate Plan B some more, maybe we’ll see you in ’08′. That’s brilliant. Although, perhaps, we could argue that the OWH is just another government agency, pushing papers around and helping some hairy-legged female college graduates earn enough money for the Apartment with Twenty Cats of their dreams. So cutting the budget isn’t a big deal! After all, what does the Office for Women’s Health really do?
The office was created in 1994 amid growing evidence that some sex-based differences in biology warranted special regulatory attention — and a recognition that other offices within the FDA did not have the time, money or expertise to focus on women’s special needs.
More than 200 research articles based on studies funded by the office have appeared in scientific journals since 1994, and the office’s fact sheets and other publications have generated record-breaking responses in recent years.
Oh. You mean, people care about women’s health? People want information on osteoporosis, birth control, pregnancy, mammograms, and heart disease? Really. How interesting. So… how about those Penguins?