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FDA Approves Over The Counter Sale Of Morning-after Pill To Teens

Salomon Fuentes |
April 30, 2013 | 4:18 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

The Plan B contraceptive (Flickr/waltarrrr)
The Plan B contraceptive (Flickr/waltarrrr)
Following an ruling from U.S. District Judge Edward Korman, the Food and Drug Administration approved Tuesday afternoon the sale of the Plan B contraceptive, also known as the morning-after pill, as an over the counter item for girls 15 and older.

In theory, the move would prevent numerous unwanted pregnancies, but detractors are already saying that the decision may have limited effect. 

From Forbes:

"However, in a step that could dramatically reduce the impact of the approval, the FDA is requiring that those who purchase Plan B at a drugstore have legal proof of age such as a driver’s license or non-driver identification card. Because many 15-year-olds might not have driver’s licenses or learner’s permits, many might not be able to purchase the contraceptive." 

Still, some women's rights advocates hailed the FDA's decision progress, even with the restrictions in place.

"This decision is a step in the right direction for increased access to a product that is a safe and effective method of preventing unintended pregnancies," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. "It's also a decision that moves us closer to these critical availability decisions being based on science, not politics."

Prior to the FDA decision, Plan B was only available to girls 17 and older and was limited as a behind the counter item. Earlier in April, Judge Korman strongly criticized the Obama administration for defending that policy and overruled the administration's lawyers.

In 2011, the FDA was set to approve the sale of Plan B without age restrictions as an over the counter item. However, Kathleen Sebelius, the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, made the unprecedented step of over-ruling that decsion.

Read the full Forbes article here.

Reach Executive Producer Salomon Fuentes here; Follow him on Twitter here.



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