The Abortifacient Aisle | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Abortifacient Aisle
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Hillary Clinton usually decries the greed of pharmaceutical companies. But she suspends her distaste for them if they profit off abortifacients and other drugs that liberals happen to like. This week she renewed her attacks on the FDA for delaying approval of Barr pharmaceutical’s abortifacient, Plan B. Clinton wanted the FDA to approve sale of the abortifacient for over-the-counter use, meaning that 17-year-olds could pick it up at CVS along with their Snickers bars and Pepsi.

Under the Clintons in the 1990s, the FDA would often entangle pharmaceutical companies in bureaucratic tape and delay. FDA Commissioner David Kessler, to the delight of the left, distrusted these companies, using a Naderite emphasis on extreme caution to block helpful drugs. And Hillary cheered him on. But now she demands the FDA act with haste. Now she favors a heedless and streamlining FDA, since the drugs in question are life-ending rather than life-saving.

And don’t worry about labeling Plan B too precisely either, she hectors Bush’s FDA after decades of demanding that the FDA label everything in sight. As James Bovard reported in The American Spectator in 1995, Kessler, with left-wing winds at his back, behaved like a bully and lout if companies didn’t label products to his satisfaction. He had U.S. marshals destroy 12,000 gallons of orange juice because they didn’t have “Made from Concentrate” in large enough print on them.

Has anybody died from orange juice concentrate? No, but human embryos will die from the chemical poison Plan B and safety-first liberals see nothing unsafe in that and oppose precise warning labels on it lest teens avoid the drug. Hillary Clinton says Bush’s FDA is “run not on the basis of science but on ideology,” yet for baldly ideological reasons she will try and silence any FDA official who questions the prudence of placing abortifacients in the hands of teens.

The same liberals who hold hearings on vitamins and dietary supplements will sabotage hearings on the dangers of abortifacients. Does Henry Waxman who has held hearings on dietary supplements consider them more dangerous than a drug whose whole purpose is to be dangerous — that is, endanger an embryo?

As James Bovard also pointed out, the left will subject innocuous medical devices to intense scrutiny. In the 1990s, the FDA held up approval of mint-flavored dental floss and wheelchair cushions and micromanaged the manufacture of shower commode chairs. Shouldn’t Plan B receive as much scrutiny as dental floss? And shouldn’t liberals who accuse pharmaceutical companies of greed at the drop of a hat be wary of a company that wants to rack up profits from selling abortifacients over the counter?

Oh, that’s right: making a killing off killing is not greed but left-wing charity, an occasion for Hillary Clinton to applaud Planned Parenthood, which makes millions of dollars off abortion each year, for its contributions to the “community.” Liberals will even help these pharmaceutical companies they would call greedy in any other context rake in money by propagandizing teens that they should view Plan B like “band-aids” — something useful to pick up at the corner store should something go awry down the line.

Hillary Clinton is working hard for that day when Plan B goes in the shelves where cigarettes once sat. And no matter how many dangers they pose to the common weal the left won’t say a word. That the FDA under the Bush administration is concerned that Plan B will undermine public health by encouraging reckless behavior is “politics,” according to Hillary Clinton. Yet her refusal even to consider the public health implications of this drug isn’t? She and her husband demand that childhood corpulence be studied — “obesity” hearings are a pressing national need, they argue — but she won’t entertain FDA concerns about the obvious possibility that Plan B will increase the volume of sexually transmitted disease.

Nor will this self-appointed advocate for children and women give the time of day to scientists who point out that young women like Holly Patterson are dying from RU-486 because the drug can erode the immune system and make women susceptible to septic shock. All but one of the deaths so far from RU-486 have been due to septic shock, and scientists had warned the FDA that the drug was dangerous. But the Democrats, displaying the politicization they now assign to Bush’s FDA, didn’t want to listen.

Eric Shaff, chair of the National Abortion Federation, claimed that RU-486 is less dangerous than aspirin. And if Hillary gets her way, abortifacients like Plan B will get their own aisle near them at CVS.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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