Staying mum on Plan B

Looks as if Crawford didn’t want to either tell the truth to the GAO about why the approval ofOTC sales of the Plan B emergency contraceptive was shelved or lie about it. So he quit.

When the Administrator of the Food and Drug Administration abruptly resigns with no explanation just two months after being confirmed by the Senate, you know there must be one helluva backstory. And when the agency had just made a scientifically outrageous decision about emergency contraception, a decision which also violated a promise the Administrator made in order to get confirmed, it’s not hard to guess there must be a link between the two events.

Now we learn that the former Administrator, Lester Crawford, had refused to cooperate with a GAO investigation into the shenanigans surrounding Plan B. That suggests to me that Crawford’s repeated assertions to the press that there was no White House pressure behind the decision to indefinitely postpone action on Plan B were false, and that Crawford didn’t want to repeat that lie to investigators lest he wind up in Martha Stewart land. Once the GAO report came out, he was going to be asked questions by various Congressional committees, so he decided to bug out.

Remember this the next time someone tells you that the Bush Administration’s subservience to the TV preachers isn’t really harmful.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: