Last Updated:October 22 @ 09:16 pm

Judge orders morning-after pill available to females of all ages

By The Philadelphia Inquirer

A federal judge in Brooklyn ruled Friday that emergency contraception must be available over the counter without restriction for women of all ages, giving the product the same retail status as cough drops and condoms.

U.S. District Judge Edward Korman's ruling caps a battle that began a dozen years ago when women's health activists first petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make the so-called morning-after pill readily available without a prescription.

As he did in 2009, Korman on Friday assailed the FDA for delaying and defying the petition and subsequent lawsuit. But this time, Korman also blasted Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius for vetoing the FDA in 2011 when the agency was finally poised to remove restrictions on the back-up birth control pills.

Sibelius' decision was "politically motivated, scientifically unjustified, and contrary to agency precedent," Korman declared.

Emergency contraception contains a hormone used in birth control pills and can be taken up to 72 hours after sex to reduce the chance of pregnancy.

Sold as Plan B One-Step and Next Choice, it is currently available without a prescription only to women 17 and older. The products are also kept behind the pharmacist's counter; purchasers must show a government-issued ID with proof of age.

Korman ordered an end to those limits within 30 days.

Reaction to the ruling was predictably polarized, reflecting the divide that has existed since advocates and the original manufacturer began pushing for over-the-counter sales.

Public health and medical groups called the ruling a victory for women's health, contending it will reduce unintended pregnancy and abortions. Conservative and anti-abortion groups called it a blow to women's health, contending it will lead teenagers to have earlier, riskier sex, avoid consulting physicians, and become victims of sexual abuse.

"There is a real danger that Plan B may be given to young girls, under coercion or without their consent," Anna Higgins of the Family Research Council said in a statement.

Neither wonderful nor awful social effects have been substantiated, despite more than 1,000 studies of emergency contraception now in the medical literature.

Princeton University population researcher James Trussell now acknowledges that his early predictions of the method's impact were way too optimistic. In 1992, he and colleagues published a mathematical model that suggested making emergency contraception widely available could reduce abortions and unintended pregnancies in the U.S. by half.

But he still believes women should have the preventive option.

"This is a real victory for all women who want a convenient way to obtain emergency contraceptive pills," he said. It's "way overdue. Science finally trumps politics."

Plan B One-Step maker Teva Pharmaceuticals, an Israeli firm with U.S. headquarters in North Wales, Montgomery County, conducted safety studies requested by the FDA and cited by Korman in his ruling. But the company has consistently refused to discuss the legal battle or its sales plans.

The FDA also declined to comment, as did the U.S. Department of Justice, which has the option of appealing Korman's ruling.

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(c)2013 The Philadelphia Inquirer

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23 Comments

  1. freebirdComment by freebird
    April 6, 2013 @ 9:22 am

    I don’t consider a 16 year old a man or a woman.
    They are still children and having sex and buying these pills isn’t something a 16 year old should be doing routinely. This is telling them it’s OK.

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    • sirodComment by sirod
      April 6, 2013 @ 9:40 am

      God help us! This country is going to hell in a hurry. There will be a time of reckoning for all of us.

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    • samsimoneauxComment by samsimoneaux
      April 6, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

      I don’t know about you but, as an Irishman I was an adult at 18. What is your problem with a woman being responsible for her own body? What do you consider morally preferable: an abortion or an unwanted child in this world? You just keep plugging away in your personal Paradise

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    • MorganComment by Morgan
      April 8, 2013 @ 9:24 am

      To Freebird….This has to be the most ridiculous ruling I have ever heard of. Good grief. My grandaughter is only 5 years old. She doesn’t even know what sex is all about and this pinheaded judge made these pills available to her..

      Just another indication that our justice system is totally broken and is absolutely without any common sense. The message this judge sends is that girls of ANY age can now have sex and get birth control.

      And to samsimoneaux There is nothing wrong with a WOMAN being responsible for her own body, but this doesn’t stop there. It makes this pill available for little girls of any age. How stupid is that????

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    • Cape ConservativeComment by Cape Conservative
      April 8, 2013 @ 9:42 am

      Agree Morgan – the statement “a woman should be RESPONSIBLE for her own body” says to me that an individual should MAKE responsible decisions…and there is NO way a child should be exposed to such life-altering decisions as to participate in sexual activity, much less have to deal with taking a pill that would end facing the consequences of such actions.

      I guess PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY is something only us ‘old folks’ think is important – today it’s ‘whatever’

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    • MorganComment by Morgan
      April 8, 2013 @ 10:18 am

      Cape Conservative. I don’t think that some of these young folks even consider the long term ramifications of their poor decision making. Since the 60′s this kind of thinking has been taught to our young people
      http://www.moral-relativism.com/

      It’s any “anything goes” mentality. If it feels good, do it. Situational ethics run amok.

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  2. JDZComment by JDZ
    April 6, 2013 @ 10:33 am

    How is it that one person, in this case a federal judge, can decide on something as complex as this contraceptive pill which has far reaching implications both medically and socially, ON HIS OWN? And then, expect everything to change in just 30 days with little, if any, public discussion or review making it OK to be sold off the shelves as easily as aspirins. Blows my mind.

    This should never happen in medically related arenas and especially something that is a social and cultural hot potato as birth control or a medically induced abortion, which this pill is all about.

    Our government has gone over the top and has lost any semblance of good commonsense. It has become so politically motivated and affected by special interest groups that the American people at large are no longer their top priority on anything.

    Sad…and the root cause of this obvious deterioration of our country.

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    • Cape ConservativeComment by Cape Conservative
      April 6, 2013 @ 10:44 am

      So now, by the stroke of a pen in the hand of an appointed robed member of the judiciary, self-administered abortions are available to people of any age……..yet…….we keep cigarettes locked up and photo ID must be shown to purchase a pack. Age requirements are in place for buying a beer or any other alcoholic product. At our local supermarket, parents have to have store personnel UNLOCK the case holding baby formula before purchasing. But, hey…if you are 12 years old and played house without protection all you have to do is just pop in the nearest drugstore and pick up an abortifacient (sp) – no need to visit the local PP for their ‘sound’ advice.

      Right is wrong and wrong is right in this crazy mixed up world of ours. No need to wonder why our country is rapidly going down the toilet. God is NOT smiling.

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    • MorganComment by Morgan
      April 8, 2013 @ 9:27 am

      I totally agree with you JDZ. This is insane. The justice system should never get involved in these kinds of things. These pills should absolutely be under a doctors prescription and the courst should never meddle in medical decisions. It proves again, in my mind, that are no moral ethics left in this country any more.

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  3. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    April 6, 2013 @ 11:02 am

    the liberals have almost succeded in a total moral collapse of america.if you dont believe me just open your eyes america.

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  4. prairelivingComment by praireliving
    April 6, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

    A teenage girl is required to get written parental permission in order to get her ears pierced but she doesn’t need her parents to know when she is takes a high dose of hormones which have been proven to have cancer causing effects. In some states she can even go and get an abortion without letting her parents know.

    Remind me who exactly is waging a ‘War on Women’!

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    • wildfireComment by wildfire
      April 9, 2013 @ 1:05 am

      There are actually two wars being waged against specific gender groups in America: the first is men, males, boys – you name it. I could go on ad infinitum but I think we all know; the second is the war are female babies. We have all heard the stories of the Chi Comms one baby rule and the resulting holocaust of female babies in that country. Who wants to make a bet that people here in the US aren’t doing the very same thing. Not only is the left murdering female babies but “killing” girls as well as women with their nonstop propaganda trying to make females more male and vice-versa. They really hate science.

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  5. makesenseComment by makesense
    April 6, 2013 @ 7:01 pm

    This decision will have a major impact on Pro-Life issues:

    When taken within 72 hours of having sex, Plan-B pills will prevent a pregnancy. Since there is no pregnancy, there is no abortion. A win for both Pro-life and Pro Roe vs Waders.

    Plan B pill easy availability will diminish the need for abortions in this country. With fewer doctors performing the procedure, there will be fewer of them for Pro-lifers to target, hence fewer clashes and demonstrations and murders of doctors. A win for our society.

    This decision, in the long run, will also significantly affect the number of people who are benefiting a lot from government handouts …. Romney’s 47%ters.

    Fewer kids will get pregnant. Kids who are unable to bring up a child properly, house them, educate them, etc., will not have unwanted children. Children who are very likely to grow up to become adults who are poor and very dependent on government handouts — the group that mostly likely voted for Obama. Without today’s constant supply of these type of people, the population of 47%ters will gradually be reduced. This will be good for the USA. What can be better than this?

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    • MorganComment by Morgan
      April 8, 2013 @ 9:29 am

      makesense??? You make no sense.

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  6. pointyfingersComment by pointyfingers
    April 6, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

    Here’s something to think about before disagreeing with the morning after pill: a child who is pregnant more than likely doesn’t have much in the way of parental guidance. It would be much better to allow a young woman to protect herself because no one else has been. It’s better than having a child have a child. That would more than likely be two lives lost.

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  7. boggieComment by boggie
    April 6, 2013 @ 10:27 pm

    Worse then a nation of Infidels; is a nation that has turned it’s back on God. Murdering it’s own innocent babies. Defying God’s purpose to reproduce and bring up our Children to honor Him is an abomination to God. He will withhold his wrath only as long as their hearts remain repentant. Worldly sorrow leads to despair. Godly sorrow leads to repentance. repentance means change. When the will of the people is represented by those who make these laws it is up to the individual to accept or reject these choices. It is the Will of the people who have brought God’s judgement upon America.God will not be mocked.
    The American people are the descendants of the Birthright tribe of Israel who were (sifted down as through a sieve) out of the nations that had taken them into captivity to inherit the Blessings promised Abraham and passed down to Manasseh. The Blessing promise to become the greatest most powerful nation on the face of the earth. This blessing was withheld for 2070 years because the people didn’t honour God. At the time it was fulfilled the generation that inherited it were no more worthy then any previous generation. It was a conditional blessing with an overt curse that say’s if these people don’t honour me the blessing will be taken away and they will be lead back into captivity. None of us are entitled to what we have. We just happened to be alive when the Blessing was fulfilled and because we have glorified Satan in our lives we all are being chastised. Our righteousness is as filthy rags to the Lord. But, he says (if my people who are called by my name will turn from their wicked ways and worship me I will heal their land)
    Every American must repent and Glorify God Yahweh and the Lord Yeshua or The United States of America will be History. and the people will be taken back into captivity.

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    • MorganComment by Morgan
      April 8, 2013 @ 9:32 am

      Very well said boggie. The Bible says it all this way.
      Psalm 9:17
      The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

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  8. Pingback: The Call Blog: Is Morning-After Pill Ruling A Victory For Women’s Health? – NY1 (blog) | Health News

  9. freedomfighterComment by freedomfighter
    April 7, 2013 @ 1:25 am

    I am a born again Christian, as probably most of you know through my posts. I Loathe baby killers particularly.

    First of all, Should promiscuity be rewarded, by taking a fetus from them every time they want to have sex which results in a life?. If they know that they are prone to having sex on a whim, or a flirtatious
    Evening with someone they met during the evening, then they are prone to pregnancy, so it is their own consequences of their own actions which they need to be very mindful. Carry a Condom, or two, or three, or even a six pack, depending upon how many times you go out for fun in a short period of time.
    Other than this method, there are several others, one is keeping the legs crossed, then there is the really old fashioned, but very, very effective Chastity Belt.
    OH, and then there is the next best option, to go to the store and buy Birth Control Pills, all you have to do is see a doctor, and let him know that you are a perfect Candidate for the pills, being quite sexually active, and I am quite sure he would be more than willing, and happy to write the script.

    The Huge negative of the morning after pill, the Birth control pill, and even the just plain sex without anything at all, is the fact that our Country is evolving into a germ Petri dish. Aids comes to mind, and the bottom line of that is normally death. The Condom, even though there are chances of Pregnancy if the male uses them, seem to be the better overall choice. Cheap to buy, small and compact to carry in wallet or purse. And it can do you the biggest favor ever, possibly, prevent a unwanted baby.
    Ok, now we have the morning after pill, which is about 60-80 percent reliable. This is a good thing, I think, since hormones rule the lower extremities, that it is a perfect thing to have given over the counter, provided they are not allowing Children to have access to them. Girls become of age of Consent in different states, here in Nevada, it is 14, in others 16, even others 17-eighteen.
    I think that at very least, the school card, or some form of ID which fits that states legal age of definition of non statutory, would not at all be going one step too far I personally would actually praise that form of Birth Control, as it kills the sperm, not a child. It takes more than a 36 hour period, for a sperm to break through the uterus membrane, and fertilize the egg. I think all sexually active women should at leas use this method to keep something from happening that they really do not want to happen.

    Then there is the last option, ABORTION, which is exceedingly dangerous, and Kills live children, and even at times, would be mothers who do not survive many of the back street clinics. Personally, when a doctor aborts a Child, and any term of development, he should take it to the mother, hand her a scalpel, and tell her I do not kill life, so I am letting you do the honors. Let her see just how easy, or not, it is to kill a live baby.
    God, his Son Jesus, and all the angels of Heaven cry when a child dies, no matter at what age. And they cry angry tears when one is murdered.

    This I can in no way condone, as a life is anything in the womb which shows signs of development, life, and body development.
    I wonder if these would be mothers have any idea whatsoever, how many barren couples are around everywhere which would give almost anything to have a baby. I an so very glad that they are not able to see exactly what goes on at some of these back street abortion clinics.

    The Doctor who has been arrested, and charged with multiple counts of killing babies born alive. He would take scissors and cut their spinal cords in to. A person can abuse a dog, and have to pay a large fine, but a man can kill a nearly full term child, and pretty much get away with it.
    One day Jesus Christ will return with the sound of a trumpet in the clouds. I guess my main question, since you can no longer believe he does not exist, is what will you be found doing at that time, as all the Born again Christians and the Christian dead will arise to join him.
    Will you arise to be with him, or will you be one of those left behind and in want. TOOOOOO LATE, the book is closed then, and nothing can be changed. Your Choices, decisions, your life, your belief, and acceptance of Jesus Christ will be the only thing which will let you arise with the rest. At that very moment, none of those things can b e changed you are either in, or you are out, I Fear, that a great many at that time, without being prepared, and Saved, will cry out LORD, LORD, take me. His ears will be closed to the rants of the wicked and non believers.

    Greatest Blessings upon you, and yours.
    God loves you and wants to be part of
    your life, if you would only call on him,
    and believe, he will help you.

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    • MorganComment by Morgan
      April 8, 2013 @ 9:35 am

      Freedomfighter. You forgot the most successful method of not getting pregnant….ABSTINANCE…Works 100% of the time, won’t pass on an STD, cause a pregnancy or any other sexual problems.

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    • freedomfighterComment by freedomfighter
      April 9, 2013 @ 12:07 am

      Morgan, you are absolutely correct. Abstinence is the perfect recipe to get around all of the above, I do appreciate your bringing it to my attention. And I should have mentioned it, but I believed I was talking to a group of ladies who care nothing about morals, and don’t care about the gift of life.

      I am not speaking to any who have decided to wed before they have sex. The ones to whom I mostly refer, are those who want, and like, having sex no matter the cost. The things I mentioned above intentionally was meant for this group who want action, without consequence. This is against God’s laws any way, but I believe if they must carry on in their carnal life, then I believe the best choice, since they ARE going to be promiscuous any way, is to take the morning after pill. It does not kill babies, it only attacks the male sperm, which has not yet made it’s way to the baby chamber, and the egg.
      I do not condone sex before marriage in any manner whatsoever, but I certainly do not condone killing any human life form, regardless of it’s development of life, just so they can have a fling. This is purely and quite simply against the laws of God.
      I have the greatest possible respect, and adoration, for any female who, in today’s world, can keep her mind clear enough to just say no, and not fall to the desires of the flesh , until they have married.

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  10. WardMDComment by WardMD
    April 7, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

    I’d LOVE to see this judge’s MEDICAL LICENSE!

    Shouldn’t HE be arrested for “Practicing Medicine without a license”?

    WHERE does HE get off unilaterally determining that these pills should be “OTC”? What Medical/Pharmaceutical TRAINING does HE possess that allows HIM to make that determination?!

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  11. boggieComment by boggie
    April 8, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

    I wonder how long it will take for the transgendered wanna bees and the rest of the sexually confused to figure out this is a female hormone. If anyone of any age can just buy these over the counter I wonder what the next generation will look like?

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    • freedomfighterComment by freedomfighter
      April 9, 2013 @ 12:40 am

      Just to make a point about the gays,& lesbians, evolutions into our society, openly expressing their sexuality

      Let’s just ponder a single point, when they say God loves them anyway they are, and they can be Christians, and still go against God’s very explicit words regarding this abomination. I am on record as saying it ain’t so, God does not love anything to do with abominations against him. This will be most evident come judgment day.

      Here is a scenario. Let’s suppose that tomorrow morning every person decided to go Gay or Lesbian lifestyle, and there was no way that either would put up with the other, and all then born and soon t b e born, would also have the deviant same lifestyle.
      There could only be one possible recourse of this action. Within 125 very short years, there would be no life on this planet. Not one soul. Is this what God intended?. I do not think so,
      If God had intended the Gay Lifestyle to possess this wonderful World, then when he created human beings, he would have merely made Adam and Aaron. What would be the necessity for him to make EVE, and DARLEEN too?.
      To which pair would be have told to be fruitful, go forward and multiply?. I have a bit of a stigma about that. God had to be much smarter than that, since neither without the other side could produce anything at all. Could a God who knows all, created all, and sent his Son to die on the cross in the most severely painful death which none of us could ever even imagine, unless they went through that same 6 hours it took Jesus Christ to die on that terrible tree?. Do you believe he did all that so that this deviant behavior could infest his World?.

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