Susan Wood, Outspoken Proponent Of Over-The-Counter Emergency Contraception, Speaks At UNH March 7
Contact:  Beth Potier
UNH Media Relations
Feb. 22, 2006

DURHAM, N.H. -- Susan Wood, former director of the office of women’s health at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and an outspoken proponent of emergency contraception that is accessible without a prescription, will speak at the University of New Hampshire March 7 as part of the Masters in Public Health Grand Rounds Lecture Series.

Who:  Susan Wood, former assistant commissioner for women’s health and former director of the office of women’s health at the Food and Drug Administration

What:  “Women’s Health, Emergency Contraception and the FDA”

When:  March 7, 4 p.m.

Where:  Memorial Union Building, UNH

Cost:  Free

Contact Cheri Masta at 603-862-1178 or

Susan Wood, the assistant commissioner for women’s health and director of the office of women’s health at the Food and Drug Administration from 2000 to August 2005, resigned in protest of the FDA’s decision to delay granting over-the-counter status to Plan B emergency contraception. Although the FDA’s scientists have approved over-the-counter status for Plan B, it has been delayed since 2003, Wood says.

“The decision, which left women of all ages without appropriate and timely access to emergency contraception, was a clear rejection of recommendations that had been based on extensive review and evaluation of the pertinent data,” she wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine (Oct. 2005). “If the FDA is to continue to fulfill its important role in public health, both in the United States and internationally, its professional scientific and clinical staff must maintain its independence and thus its scientific credibility. In compromising these values and ignoring the expertise within the agency, the FDA’s leadership has compromised the health of women and families,” she continued in the same article.

A former researcher who holds a Ph.D. in biology, Wood has worked on health policy, specifically related to women, in Washington, D.C. for more than 15 years. Since her departure from the FDA, she has been featured in numerous broadcast and print outlets working to keep the issue of informed scientific decisions in health care in the forefront.

Editors, news directors, reporters:  You are invited to cover this lecture but must reserve a space in advance. Please contact Beth Potier at or 603-862-1566.