Good news for reproductive rights! On Monday, a federal judge ruled that the Food and Drug Administration must make the emergency contraceptive Plan B available without a prescription to anyone aged 17 and older. Currently, the medication is only available over the counter to customers 18 years and older. Individuals under 18 can obtain Plan B with a prescription.
Judge Korman, who issued the ruling, stated his belief that the FDA had “improperly bowed” to political pressure from the Bush Administration when it set 18 as the age limit. Because Plan B must be taken within 72 hours of intercourse, it is exceedingly important that it be quickly available over the counter. Lowering age restrictions is supported by many health organizations, including the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association. We applaud Judge Korman’s decision in support of women’s reproductive rights and health.