Obama Administration Caves, Agrees to Let Girls of Any Age Access Morning-After Pill
The Obama administration announced Monday it would end age restrictions on emergency contraception, allowing girls and women of all ages to purchase the morning-after pill without a prescription, Fox News reports. The Department of Justice notified U.S. District Judge Edward Korman it will submit a plan for compliance with his recent ruling that allowed unrestricted sales of Plan B One-Step. If he approves it, the department will drop its appeal of his April ruling. According to the department's letter to the judge, the Food and Drug Administration has told the maker of the pills to submit a new drug application with proposed labeling that would permit it to be sold "without a prescription and without age or point-of-sale prescriptions." The FDA said that once it receives the application it "intends to approve it promptly." Last week, an appeals court dealt the government a setback by saying it would immediately permit unrestricted sales of the two-pill version of the emergency contraception until the appeal was decided. That order was met with scorn from conservatives, who argue the drug's availability takes away the rights of parents of girls who could get it without their permission. Planned Parenthood and other advocates for abortion rights said Monday the federal government's decision to comply with the judge's ruling could be a move forward for "reproductive justice" if the FDA acts quickly and puts emergency contraception over the counter without restriction.