USDA Official Steps Down Due To Morning-After Pill Politics

Susan Wood, a senior member of the FDA and women’s health advocate, stepped down from her position because of the decision to delay the morning-after pill again despite being found safe for over the counter availability.

Her letter of resignation says in part:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I regret to tell you that I am leaving the FDA, and will no longer be serving as the Assistant Commissioner for Women’s Health and Director of the FDA Office of Women’s Health. The recent decision announced by the Commissioner about emergency contraception, which continues to limit women’s access to a product that would reduce unintended pregnancies and reduce abortions is contrary to my core commitment to improving and advancing women’s health. I have spent the last 15 years working to ensure that science informs good health policy decisions. I can no longer serve as staff when scientific and clinical evidence, fully evaluated and recommended for approval by the professional staff here, has been overruled. I therefore have submitted my
resignation effective today.

I will greatly miss working with such an outstanding group of scientists, clinicians and support staff. FDA’s staff is of the highest caliber and it has been a privilege to work with you all. I hope to have future opportunities to work with you in a different capacity.

Had I been in her position I too would have been frustrated all to hell. The Bush administration record on scientific accuracy is poor at best. I only wish she hadn’t left. It appears we’ve lost a significant ally.

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3 comments for “USDA Official Steps Down Due To Morning-After Pill Politics

  1. Thomas
    August 31, 2005 at 12:35 pm

    The problem wiht resigning in disgust is that it often leaves the enemy in possession of the field. In my view, the best instances for resigning in disgust are those which, if I know my history, originated the species: resignation from parliamentary government, when the resignation has a chance to bring down the government. I think if I were her, I would have waited until the midterm campaign was in full swing.

  2. August 31, 2005 at 5:01 pm

    I keep wondering how things would have turned out if more of Bush’s administration had resigned and publicly stated the reason (other than “I want more time with my family”). What if Colin Powell had resigned when it was clear to him that he and his stellar reputation were no more than useful tools to push the Bush agenda?

    It may be that she considers preserving her integrity and reputation now will make it possible for her to be active in the future with an administration that values old fashioned things like integrity. After all, we are going to need good people to recover from what Bush is doing to this country and it’s comforting to me to be able to point to someone who could be one of those people.

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