A federal judge in New York has ordered the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make the oral emergency contraceptive Plan B available to girls of all ages without a prescription. The “emergency” contraceptive, designed to be taken within 72 hours after a woman has sex, is known by pro-life activists as the “abortion pill” because of evidence that it can cause spontaneous abortion in women who take it by preventing a newly conceived embryo from implanting in the uterine wall.
The April 5 order by U.S. District Judge Edward Korman overturns a decision made by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in 2011 to continue the restriction of the drug to women ages 17 and older. Sebelius' decision countered an FDA ruling that would have lifted all restrictions on the abortifacient contraceptive.
In his ruling Korman said the decision to keep the drug away from under-ages girls was “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.” A spokesman for the Obama administration, under which Sebelius made her ruling, said that government attorneys “are reviewing the decision and evaluating the government’s options.”
LifeSite News recalled that “Korman is the same judge who in 2009 had ordered the FDA to make Plan B available over-the-counter to girls 17 and older, in a case brought forward by the Center for Reproductive Rights. Before that, it had only been available over-the-counter to girls 18 and older.”
Pro-abortion groups were shocked and angered when in 2011 Sebelius and the Obama administration, normally two reliable allies with the pro-abortion/contraception lobby, announced the Plan B restrictions. In a memorandum explaining her decision to overrule the FDA, Sebelius said she was concerned that “use studies submitted to FDA do not include data on all ages for which the drug would be approved and available over-the-counter.”
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Photo of pharmacist holding up dose of "Plan B": AP Images