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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Live in a Brain-Based World: Thank You, HRC!
From The Village Voice:

Hillary's Plan B: Clinton calls Bush's bluff on science, women's rights, and the morning-after pill
by Kristen Lombardi
The Village Voice
July 12th, 2005 10:33 AM

These days, Hillary Clinton has found herself a signature phrase. New York's junior senator has taken to describing Washington, D.C., as a kind of "evidence-free zone"—a mantra she uses to slam the Bush administration for putting politics above science.

In May, she lamented those "who would like to turn Washington into an evidence-free zone," at a graduation upstate. By June, she was dishing out the expression to fans at a Manhattan fundraiser. On June 15, she offered the choice words again, this time as she hammered away at the "politicization of science by this administration" for the Senate record. "These days," she said in a submitted floor statement, "Washington often feels like an 'evidence-free zone,' where facts are only useful and necessary when they support your predetermined position."

If the idea has weighed on her mind lately, it was especially heavy that day. Clinton attended a June 15 hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, where she, as a member, debated an issue that has come to epitomize the way the Bush White House allows the right to roll over reality.

The agenda centered on confirmation of President Bush's nominee to head the Food and Drug Administration, Lester Crawford, now acting commissioner. The committee would end up sending the nomination to the Senate, but not before Clinton and fellow senator Patty Murray, of Washington, had their say. Joined by Senator Barbara Mikulski, of Maryland, the Democratic women opposed Crawford because of his refusal to deal with emergency contraception, or Plan B. The FDA has failed to issue a decision on over-the-counter sales of Plan B for months now, despite having set a January deadline.

"What we are witnessing is the FDA . . . being run not on the basis of science, but on ideology," Clinton said in her statement, explaining to her colleagues that she and Murray were putting a "hold" on the Crawford nomination until the FDA rules on Plan B. Though they lost in committee, they can still stop a full vote from happening anytime soon.

The article continues from this point and can be read in full.



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