“If President Obama follows his new science directive, then teenagers will have the medicine and knowledge to protect their health,” writes Nancy Northup in a letter to the editor to The New York Times’ today, commenting on news that President Obama has a new take on mixing science and politics.
Science and Sex Education
Published: March 16, 2009
To the Editor:
Re “Obama Puts His Own Spin on the Mix of Science With Politics” (news article, March 10):
President Obama can put his directive to “guarantee scientific integrity” in federal policy making into action in two specific areas: the Food and Drug Administration’s flawed policy on over-the-counter access to the emergency contraceptive Plan B and the wasteful federal financing of abstinence-only sex education programs.
Currently, women under age 18 cannot get access to time-critical emergency contraception without a prescription, even though medical evidence overwhelmingly supports over-the-counter use for every age, and the F.D.A.’s own scientists recommended the same.Numerous studies have shown that abstinence-only programs don’t work and are actually counterproductive, and yet the government has spent more than $1.3 billion promoting them. If President Obama follows his new science directive, then teenagers will have the medicine and knowledge to protect their health — after all, that’s where the science leads. Nancy Northup
Center for Reproductive Rights
New York, March 11, 2009