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2nd Circuit orders unrestricted sale of some emergency contraceptives

Despite FDA objections, some types of the morning after pill will now be available over-the-counter with no age restrictions

The 2nd Circuit has ordered the over-the-counter sale of some types of emergency contraception pills without age limits, even as the federal government continues its court battle to preserve restrictions on the pills.

In April, a federal judge in Brooklyn ruled that the “morning after” pill should be available to women of all ages without a prescription, after he found that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not adequately shown that girls younger than 17 couldn’t safely use the contraception without supervision.

The FDA had previously determined that girls younger than 17 could safely use the Plan B One-Step contraceptive, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled that decision, a move that U.S. District Judge Edward Korman called “politically motivated, scientifically unjustified, and contrary to agency precedent.”

The FDA continues to fight Korman’s ruling, but the 2nd Circuit ruled on Wednesday that sales of the two-pill version of the “morning after” pill should continue in the meantime, Thomson Reuters reports. The appeals court did agree to halt unrestricted sales of one-pill contraceptive varieties, including Plan B One-Step, although it did not explain why.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of contraception, see:

FDA appeals “morning after” pill ruling

Court denies contraception coverage injunction

Hobby Lobby loses appeal of contraception coverage

Woman sues birth control maker for unintended pregnancy

Alanna Byrne

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