The wonderful victory for all females in the United States to have access to emergency contraception without a prescription has been foiled by the evil charlatans at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Justice Department.
The Center for Reproductive Rights’ (CRR) had filed a lawsuit against the FDA to require emergency birth control pills be available without restriction, an effort to remove the obstacle and perhaps shame of getting a prescription from a doctor. On April 5, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Korman ruled that the FDA must make emergency contraception, a.k.a. the morning after pill, available over the counter without an age-limit restriction within 30 days of the ruling.
Instead of complying with this basic right all women should have — and do have thanks to this ruling, the FDA announced it would make Plan B and Next Choice-type emergency contraception available over the counter to females aged 15 and up, in direct violation of the court’s ruling. (The FDA says its decision was in no way affected by Korman’s ruling.) The FDA has thrown in a requirement for the female buying the emergency contraception to provide proof of age for the purchase. As the CRR and other activists have noted, this may prove problematic since some states do not allow teenagers to get a driver’s license until the age of 16, so 15 year old girls might have a difficult time proving their age.
Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch sent an appeal of Korman’s ruling to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to suspend the ruling until further notice. The Obama administration subsequently announced it will appeal the Justice Department’s appeal, if need be. So for now, the FDA’s asinine proclamation of limiting Plan B et al will stand, complete with photo I.D. and age-requirement intact.
Time will tell if the original court ruling will win the day and allow all females to have access to emergency birth control without politics interfering with our individual right to body autonomy.
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