Judge Orders FDA To Remove Age Restrictions From 'Morning After' Pill
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Young teenage girls may soon be able to get the so-called "morning after pill" without a doctor's or a parent's permission. A Brooklyn judge dealt the Obama administration a blow, saying age restrictions must go.
Pharmacists are prepping for big changes to the morning after pill.
"We'll be required now to give it to anybody with no ID and no age restrictions whatsoever. Free access to anyone who wants it," Ian Ginsberg of CO Bigelow Pharmacy told CBS 2's Weijia Jiang.
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On Friday, U.S. District Judge Edward Korman ruled the pregnancy-preventing pill must be made available to people of all ages without a prescription, calling an age requirement "arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable."
"This is a historic victory for women," said Erin Mahoney of the National Women's Liberation.
Mahoney is among the plaintiffs who sued the government after the U.S. Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius enforced a prescription requirement for girls under the age of 17 in 2011, even though the Food and Drug Administration said it wasn't necessary.
"If a woman or girl is old enough to be pregnant, she should be old enough to decide if she wants to be pregnant," Mahoney said.
The ruling also changes where you can purchase the pill. If it stands, you won't have to find a pharmacy. Stores can sell it on shelves next to other contraceptives.
"As a mother, I'm so angry," said Mona Davids of the NYC Parents Union. "It's a complete circumvention of parents' rights and responsibilities to do what is in the best interest of our children."
The Archdiocese of New York called the decision 'tragic," and in a statement, Sean Fieler, Chairman of the archdiocese's Pro-Life Commission statement, said: "As a society, we properly regulate the decisions that children can make on their own, and so a child can't be given an aspirin without parental supervision, get an ear pierced, or, here in New York, even use a tanning bed! But now young girls can be given these strong dangerous abortion-inducing drugs without a parent's approval, or even a doctor's supervision. This is very sad and simply wrong."
The Department of Justice promised to appeal the decision. If that fails, Americans can expect to see the pill on shelves within 30 days.
Judge Korman also wrote that extensive research shows the pill is safe, and said the decision to require a prescription was a political one.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the agency will not comment, since the litigation is ongoing.
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