Women need better access to “morning after” pill, a U.S. court rules

Bush administration-era restrictions will get a second look

A U.S. court has ordered the FDA to examine its policy limiting access of the morning after pill (also called Plan B) saying the agency allowed politics to interfere with its decision-making under the Bush administration. The 52-page ruling by the District Court for the Eastern District of New York, also said the FDA should allow 17-year-olds to buy Plan B without a prescription. The FDA had formerly allowed women 18 years or older “easier” access to the medication but asked for a prescription for women 17 and younger despite it being most effective in preventing pregnancy when taken within 24 hours of sexual intercourse. Nancy Northrup, president of Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed suit against the FDA in 2005, said the court “recognized that the FDA favored politics over science, ideology over women’s health, and violated the law in the process.”


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