A Win For Women: Morning After Pill To Be Available Over-The-Counter

It took 12 years and a lawsuit, but the Plan B One-Step pill and its generic versions must be available over-the-counter within 30 days. Federal Judge Edward Korman ruled that the Food and Drug Administration must lift sale restrictions on the pill for all ages, including for girls under 17 years of age.










Up to now girls 16 and under were required to have a doctor’s prescription to obtain the medication. That circumstance followed a ruling by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius restricting the age for purchase of the pill without a prescription. Her ruling was unprecedented since the FDA has been recommending for years that sale of the pill be unrestricted. In 2011, the FDA Commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, stated that after years of testing, the Plan B pill was found safe for use by all ages. But the Obama Administration refused to relent.

Other groups in addition to the FDA have long supported unrestricted availability of the morning after pill, including The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association. They argued that pregnancy for teens carries far greater risks than the use of a safe pill to prevent pregnancy.

Judge Korman, in his ruling, said that the federal government acted in “bad Faith” and found the obstructive actions to be politically motivated. He further called the government’s action “arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable.”

The Justice Department is reviewing the ruling to determine whether it will appeal.

Rosemary Agonito’s latest book is Hypocrisy, Inc.: How the Religious Right Fabricates Christian Values and Undermines Democracy.

Image: HowStuffWorks.com

  • Hank

    I have mixed feelings about this. Of course I’m against teen pregnancies and such. But I think we would be foolish to think the fear of an unwanted pregnancy has not been the source of many a “NO!!!” in the back seat of the car. At least, it certainly was in my day. The fear of an unwanted pregnancy has most certainly served as somewhat of a deterrent to promiscuity.

    I see this as possibly promoting promiscuity among younger girls. And there are just so many OTHER bad things that can come from that aside from an unwanted pregnancy.

    I don’t know. And I’m sure I’m just an misguided old guy. But it seems to me more and more we are breaking down the walls and barriers of a reasonably moral and civilized society.

    Yes, yes, yes. No sense in you Libs going there. I can readily see the benefit. I have Daughters!! But I can also see it breaking down a young lady’s resistance to that age old plea, “If you loved me!!” I can’t see that, in the larger picture, being a step forward for women or the self esteem and self respect of young ladies as a whole

  • Carla

    Which sounds great, but here in Mo they are trying to pass SB126, The measure would shield Pharmacies from requirements to stock specific drugs, such as emergency contraception – and it will most likely pass. So it would be legal, if you could find anyplace that stocks it.

  • http://FreakoutNation.com Anomaly 100

    “The fear of an unwanted pregnancy has most certainly served as somewhat of a deterrent to promiscuity.”

    States with the highest teenage pregnancy rates: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/04/10/which-state-has-the-highest-teen-birth-rate

    Mississippi is king of the list. Why do you think that is, Hank?

    • Hank

      But during the time frame of this report, it dropped 21%. I don’t know what point you are attempting to make. And how does that in any way detract from the legitimacy of my assertion??

      Or…..would I be a racist to point out that Blacks have the highest teenage pregnancy rate. And that Mississippi has the largest population of Blacks by percentage??

      • http://FreakoutNation.com Anomaly 100

        I’m glad you brought that up. Planned Parenthood served in rural areas (many of them with black residents) and Republicans, instead of realizing how poor these women are and need said services, whether it be for cancer screening, etc, they amped up efforts to eradicate services for women.

  • Carla

    I have a daughter and two granddaughters and I feel your pain. Honestly the cost, $50 a pop is prohibitive to be used as birth control. But it’s certainly better than compounding rash, hormone driven poorly thought out decision of having unprotected sex,or the condom breaking – all in all it’s a good option for a young woman in tough spot to be responsible.