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Court Rules Some Emergency Contraception To Be Available Without Restrictions

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - A New York appeals court has allowed some emergency contraception pills to be sold without a prescription or age restrictions while the government argues the issue in court.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued a brief order Wednesday. The court said it would allow two-pill versions of emergency contraception to be sold without restrictions while it decides the merits of the federal government's appeal of a lower-court ruling.

The court did agree to suspend implementation of a Brooklyn judge's order that one-pill products such as Plan B One-Step be sold without restriction. It said the suspension will remain in effect until it rules on the merits of the arguments later this year. Brooklyn Judge Edward Korman issued his ruling April 5.

The Food and Drug Administration announced in April that the contraception could be sold without a prescription and over the counter to those 15 and older.

Plan B One-Step, also known as the "morning-after pill," is a form of emergency contraception that can reduce the chance of pregnancy after a person has engaged in unprotected sex, meaning they did not use another form of birth control or their chosen method did not work, according to the manufacturer.

There are currently three types of emergency contraception available for sale in the U.S.: Plan B One-Step, Plan B, and Ella. Plan B is a two-pill system that requires a prescription for those who are under 17. Ella also requires a prescription, regardless of age.

Plan B-One Step does not stop pregnancy if a woman is already pregnant, nor has any scientific evidence shown that it will harm a fetus that already exists. The single-dose pill works best if taken within three days after sexual intercourse, according to the manufacturer.

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