Obama Will Allow Morning-After Pill for All Ages

DOJ will drop appeal against unrestricted access to Plan B
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2013 7:46 PM CDT
Updated Jun 11, 2013 5:33 AM CDT
Obama Will Allow Morning-After Pill For All Ages
Pharmacist Simon Gorelikov holds a generic emergency contraceptive, also called the morning-after pill.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

The Obama administration has dropped its push for age restrictions for access to the Plan B morning-after pill. The Justice Department had been fighting a judge's decision to allow girls of any age to access the pill without a prescription, but announced it is dropping the appeal, the New York Times reports. The turnaround comes after the appeals court told the government last week that it would allow the unrestricted sale of the pills until the appeal was decided, a situation the administration said could cause "substantial market confusion," the AP reports.

The administration wants the maker of Plan B to submit a new label for the drug, which the FDA will approve "without delay," the Justice Department assured the judge in a letter. But the letter also said that the FDA might give Plan B One Step "marketing exclusivity," meaning that it would be a while before competing generic versions could be sold, NPR reports. Obama's capitulation drew predictable plaudits and jeers; Planned Parenthood called it "a historic moment for women's health," Politico reports, while the Susan B. Anthony List said it was a "dangerous about-face" that "only abortion extremists" would applaud. (More Plan B stories.)

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