Judge Orders Morning-After Pill Available Without Prescription

The order overturns a 2011 decision by the secretary of health and human services to require a prescription for girls under the age of 17. 

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images News

CNN is reporting that a federal judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., has ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make the morning-after birth control pill available over the counter to people of any age without a prescription.

This order overturned a 2011 decision by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to require a prescription for girls under 17 years old.

The FDA said it couldn't comment because it is an ongoing legal [matter].

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended last year that oral contraceptives be sold over the counter without a prescription in an effort to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in the United States. Opponents of prescription requirements say prescriptions can delay access to the drug.

Friday's judicial order came in response to a lawsuit launched by the Center for Reproductive Rights. The group was seeking to expand access to all brands of the morning-after pill over the counter, such as Plan B One-Step and Next Choice, so that women of all ages would be able to purchase them without a prescription.

Read more at CNN.

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