Justice Dept. Drops Effort to Block Wide Access to Morning-After Pill

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The U.S. Department of Justice has dropped the Obama administration’s fight to block over-the-counter availability of the Plan B contraception medication, known as the morning-after pill, for females of all ages.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had already announced that it would approve the sale of the Plan B One-Step pill without a prescription to females age 15 and older.


But the administration was resisting a ruling by a federal judge who said the morning-after pill should be available to all women and girls regardless of age.


The Justice Department’s decision to not appeal Judge Edward R. Korman’s April ruling (pdf) puts the administration on the side of pro-choice advocates who have wanted the contraception available without restrictions.


Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, told The New York Times: “This is a huge breakthrough for access to birth control and a historic moment for women’s health and equity.”


The newspaper also reported that Justice officials may have decided to discontinue the legal fight because of its potential to draw too much attention to a hotly debated topic.


Organizations that have supported the drug’s unrestricted availability are continuing to pressure the government to expand the ruling to include generic versions of Plan B.


The controversial pill prevents conception if it is taken within three days of having sexual intercourse.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

U.S. Drops Bid to Limit Sales of Morning-After Pill (by Michael D. Shear and Pam Belluck, New York Times)

Obama Administration Agrees to End Age Restrictions for Emergency Contraception (Agence France-Presse)

Judge Escalates Battle with Obama Administration over Morning-After Pill (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)

Obama Administration Seeks Compromise in Heated Emergency Contraceptive Debate (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

Judge Slams FDA for Delaying Emergency Contraception to Girls under 17 (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)


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