Strong reactions after judge strikes down age limits on morning-after pill

Posted at 7:48 PM, Apr 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-05 19:48:26-04

“Arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable…” were the words used by a Federal District Court Judge to describe the government’s restrictions on the controversial Plan B pill.  Judge Edward Korman reversed the age restrictions as he ordered the FDA to make the morning after pill available over the counter for young girls of all ages.

In a 59 page decision, Korman states, “This case is not about the potential misuse of Plan B by 11-year-olds. These emergency contraceptives would be among the safest drugs sold over-the-counter, the number of 11-year-olds using these drugs is likely minuscule…”

It is a significant decision that even overturned an order from The Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who was criticized numerous times for her involvement by Judge Korman.  In his court decision Korman stated, “…the secretary’s  action was politically motivated, scientifically unjustified and contrary to agency precedent…”

Sebelius, contrary to FDA recommendations, had ordered prescriptions be  written out for girls under the age of 17.

Ellen Chesler, a Senior Fellow with Rockefeller Institute and a longtime advocate for women’s reproductive rights, said this fight has continued for a decade and while politically controversial, the decision shows a win for science over politics.