A federal judge in New York issued a ruling today ordering the Food and Drug Administration to lift all age and sale restrictions on the Plan B, aka the morning-after-pill, within 30 days, thus allowing girls under the age of 16 to buy the drug without a prescription.
The New York Times is reporting that the decision came response to a 2005 case initiated by the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights who filed suit in a Brooklyn Federal Court to allow free access to the drug by all after the Bush Administration denied over-the-counter access.
Edward R. Korman of Federal District Court, called the government’s refusal to lift restrictions on access to the pill “arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable” and gave the FDA 30 days to make the drug available to all.
This is not the first time Judge Korman has come out in favor of increased access to the drug, which can block the implantation of a fertilized egg if taken with 72 hours of unprotected sex. He ruled in 2009 that 17-year-olds should be able to get the morning-after pill without a prescription and ordered the government to consider doing so. The FDA eventually decided to allow this, but Kathleen Sebelius, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, over-ruled the decision. She said the manufacturer of the drug failed to test it on younger girls, leaving questions about its safety unanswered.
Judge Korman is now accusing the government of “filibustering” on the issue.
“More than 12 years have passed since the citizen petition was filed and 8 years since this lawsuit commenced,” Korman wrote. “The F.D.A. has engaged in intolerable delays in processing the petition. Indeed, it could accurately be described as an administrative agency filibuster.”
He added, “The plaintiffs should not be forced to endure, nor should the agency’s misconduct be rewarded by, an exercise that permits the F.D.A. to engage in further delay and obstruction.”
Thus far, neither the FDA nor the HHS has commented on the decision or indicated whether they would appeal the ruling, saying only that is was “being reviewed.”
Dr. Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life noted that the business interests of Big Abortion were again at play in the case.
“This decision allows the abortion industry to gamble with young girls’ health in distributing a life-ending drug, with no real understanding of the long-term implications on their bodies,” said Dr. Yoest. “Equally troubling, this allows young girls pressured into sex or even abused by adults to be manipulated into taking pills that cover up what is a criminal act.”
“Young girls need medical supervision in taking such a potent and potentially life-ending drug,” said Dr. Yoest. “The implications for informed consent — and the long-term health impact on women of all ages — are deeply troubling.”
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