By Sam Baker - 12/12/11 07:11 PM EST
The decision to block wider access to the morning-after contraceptive known as Plan B was not political, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Monday.
According to a Bloomberg report, Sebelius said the decision was not “about politics.” She discussed the Plan B controversy with reporters after an event with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — who said he disagreed with Sebelius’s decision.
Sebelius last week overruled scientists at the Food and Drug Administration who said Plan B should be made available without a prescription to girls of all ages. Girls younger than 17 currently need a prescription for the drug. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg backed her agency’s determination in a public break with Sebelius.
Sebelius reportedly said the drug’s manufacturer, Teva, can apply again for over-the-counter status if it finds new data about Plan B’s safety and effectiveness.
President Obama supported the decision to block wider access to Plan B, while women’s health groups and some prominent Democrats said it was inappropriate for Sebelius to overturn the FDA’s scientific assessment. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the decision should be based on science, but did not criticize Sebelius for intervening.