Judge Orders FDA to Make Morning-After Pill Available Over the Counter for All Ages

Judge Orders FDA to Make Morning-After Pill Available Over the Counter for All Ages


A federal judge has ruled that the government must make the most common morning-after pill available over the counter for all ages, instead of requiring a prescription for girls 16 and younger, the New York Times reports. The decision comes after a decade-long fight over who should have access to the pill and under what circumstances, and counteracts an unprecedented move by the Obama administration's Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, who in 2011 overruled a recommendation by the Food and Drug Administration to make the pill available for all ages without a prescription. In a decision in a lawsuit filed by advocates, judge Edward R. Korman ruled that the government's refusal to lift restrictions on access to the pill was "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable." Korman ordered the FDA to lift any age and sale restrictions on the pill, Plan B One-Step, and its generic versions, within 30 days. The FDA and HHS declined to comment on the ruling Friday morning or indicate whether the government would file an appeal, saying the decision was being reviewed.

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