On Monday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must reconsider its decision under the Bush Administration to limit access to emergency contraception for only those 18 and older, reports the Reuters news agency.
The court ordered the FDA to allow 17 year old girls to also buy the drug, called Plan B, without a prescription. "The FDA repeatedly and unreasonably delayed issuing a decision on Plan B for suspect reasons," the court said.
The court found that the FDA clearly allowed "politics to interfere" with its decision making because of threats to hold up Senate confirmation of Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach as FDA commissioner if the drug was approved for 17 year olds--something the Bush Administration strongly opposed.
Emergency contraception, aka the morning after pill, or Plan B works best to prevent unwanted pregnancies when used within 24 hours of sexual intercourse. It contains higher doses of progestin than are used in prescription birth control pills. It is not the "abortion pill" and will not affect an existing pregnancy.
Do you think 17 year olds should be able to buy emergency contraception over the counter?