Presidential pass

It is with dismay that we read the news that President Bush is not going to oppose FDA approval of dispensing Plan B over the counter. Plan B is a potent dose of contraceptives that may prevent fertilization up to 72 hours after sexual activity. However, it can also prevent an already fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

Remarking on the FDA move at an Aug. 21 press conference, the president’s primary concern was that the drug should be available to minors only by prescription. We share that concern, but his dismissal of the abortifacient effect of the pill is troubling.

Later in the same week, Worcester based Advanced Cell Technology Inc., announced that they had “successfully generated human embryonic stem cells using an approach that does not harm embryos.”

That announcement, called a “sham” by a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops official — all 12 embryos used were killed in the process — prompted the president to reaffirm his opposition to funding embryonic stem-cell projects with public money.

“Any use of human embryos for research purposes raises serious ethical concerns,” the White House said in statement.

Although we welcome the president’s rightful concern for preserving the integrity of the human embryo, his inaction on the FDA approval of Plan B is a slap in the face to the pro-life Americans who helped place him in office. Plan B is not just another contraceptive method but a drug which, when used as directed, can end human life. This should not have happened under President Bush’s watch, at least not without a fight.