New Front in the War on Women: Regulatory Accountability Act Could Effectively Eliminate Reproductive Health Coverage

2:12 pm in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Kirsten Moore for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

Six weeks ago when advocates realized that Initiative 26 was going to be on the ballot in Mississippi there was no doubt what was at stake and as a result, an impressive array people and organizers lined up to defeat it.

But some threats are not so clear.

Here is one worth tracking.  The “Regulatory Accountability Act” of 2011 (H.R. 3010, S. 1606) may do more to undermine access to birth control and other reproductive health technologies (not to mention a host of other services we rely on our government to provide) than any head on attack we have seen.  The legislation drastically overhauls something called the Administrative Procedure Act and would greatly expand the kinds of ‘new rules’ or policies that must undergo a formal, highly bureaucratic rulemaking process.  This procedure can take a decade or longer to complete.

You know the conservatives’ mantra “limited government?”  Well, this legislation is just the opposite.  It is over-regulation at its most outrageous.  In fact, it is purposeful overregulation so that no regulation can get through.

Remember when FDA’s Assistant Commissioner Susan Wood quit in protest over the way the agency was handling an application to make Plan B available without a prescription? She did so in response to an announcement by the FDA Commissioner that the Plan B review would have to be submitted to “rulemaking.”  Dr Wood knew this was a way of “slow-walking” if not outright killing a decision to make Plan B available over-the-counter. Read the rest of this entry →