Court Orders FDA to Reconsider Decision Limiting Morning After Pill to Minors

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 23, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Court Orders FDA to Reconsider Decision Limiting Morning After Pill to Minors

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 23
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — A federal court on Monday ordered the Food and Drug Administration to reconsider its decision preventing minors from purchasing the morning after pill without a prescription. When the FDA made the Plan B drug available over the counter, it prohibited such sales to people under the age of 18.

While pro-life groups were upset the drug was made available without consulting a doctor, they said the limits in selling it to teenagers were necessary.

Today, U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman ordered the FDA to make the drug available to women as young as 17 within the next 30 days and to consider reversing its entire decision on selling the morning after pill to minors.

Korman sided with abortion advocates who claimed the FDA didn’t follow its normal protocols when making the decision.

The Washington Post indicated Korman said the "record is clear that the FDA’s course of conduct regarding Plan B departed in significant ways from the agency’s normal procedures regarding similar applications to switch a drug from prescription to non-prescription use."

Suzanne Novak, a lawyer for the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the lawsuit, told the Post she was pleased with the ruling.

"We’re very excited," she said. "The message is clear: The FDA has to put science first and leave politics at the door."

She said that the Obama administration’s control of the FDA would likely result in it overturning the limits on selling the morning after pill to minors.

"We are encouraged that the FDA under new leadership, when they look at the evidence, will remove the unique barriers that have been in place and it will finally be available to all women without any barriers," Novak said.

Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, the FDA’s acting commissioner at the time the decision was made, said the agency did not approve the drug for sales to teenagers because Barr had not provided enough information about how the morning after pill affects them.

Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, said the age restrictions need more enforcement, not less.
She also worries that a parent, older sibling or other relative or older friends could purchase the morning after pill for young teens, avoiding the requirement that they visit a doctor first before using the drug.

Wright said selling the morning after pill over the counter will make it easier for men who abuse young women to cover up their crimes.

"Any adult male who is having sex with a minor could walk into a pharmacy, buy the drug, and coax the girl into taking the pill," she said.

Wright also said that Planned Parenthood and abortion advocates were given certain restrictions by the FDA on the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, but that those haven’t been followed.

"Those restrictions have never been followed, women have died, yet no one has been punished nor the drug approval pulled,” said Wright.

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