There’s been a bit of a back and forth between the courts and the White House recently over who can buy what kinds of emergency contraception, or the morning after pill. The Food and Drug Administration had approved the one-pill brand name Plan B for any women 15 or older, which didn’t apply to other forms. But now a federal appeals court says girls of any age can buy two-step generic versions without prescriptions while the federal government appeals a judge’s ruling that any females can get Plan B, regardless of age.
The order issued by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan pertains to the two-pill versions and said they can be sold immediately to any women without any restrictions. The court didn’t grant those same unrestricted privileges for Plan B’s one-pill form, however, and didn’t explain why the two-pill versions are allowed now, reports the Associated Press.
Previously, an FDA spokesperson had said there wasn’t enough data out there to show that females of any age could responsibly take the two-pill form without a healthcare provider stepping in with guidance.
Both opponents and proponents of emergency contraception are reacting to the court’s order. The director of the Family Research Council’s Center for Human Dignity sees the ease of access to drugs as a problem.
“Our reaction in general is a concern for the safety of young girls and the rights of parents,” she said.
On the other side, the president of the Center for Reproductive rights called the order a “historic day for women’s health.”
“Finally, after more than a decade of politically motivated delays, women will no longer have to endure intrusive, onerous and medically unnecessary restrictions to get emergency contraception,” she said in a statement.
The government is reviewing the order, and has two weeks to decide whether or not to appeal the decision.
Court to allow girls to buy morning-after for now [Associated Press]