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Government will allow morning after pill to be sold to all ages

Plan B One-Step to be sold over the counter, government no longer fighting court ruling

The government is backing down in its battle against Plan B.

In a letter on Monday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would comply with U.S. District Judge Edward Korman’s ruling that the morning after pill should be made available to all women without age restrictions.

Though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) previously found that girls under 17 years of age could safely use the emergency contraception pills, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled that decision, an act that Korman said was “politically motivated, scientifically unjustified, and contrary to agency precedent.” The government had been fighting Korman’s ruling, without much success, as last week the 2nd Circuit ordered the unrestricted sale of the two-pill version of the morning after pill. And now the government will allow Plan B One-Step to be sold over the counter.

“It is the government’s understanding that this course of action fully complies with the court’s judgment,” the letter says, and “once the court confirms that the government’s understanding is correct,” the government promises to drop its appeal.

However, the DOJ said in its letter that it will not seek to lift restrictions on the two-pill version of the emergency contraception, claiming it is slightly different from the one-pill version.

Read more at Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters.


For more InsideCounsel coverage of the morning after pill, see below:

2nd Circuit orders unrestricted sale of some emergency contraceptives

FDA appeals “morning after” pill ruling

Judge strikes down restrictions on “morning after” pill

Hobby Lobby must cover morning-after pill, judge rules

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