Brooklyn Judge: Morning-after Pill, Plan B, Should Be Available to 17-year-olds Without Prescription

The judge ordered the feds to consider expanding access to women of all ages.

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BY John Marzulli
Daily News staff writer

A judge has ruled that 17-year-olds should be able to get the morning-after pill without a presription - and ordered the feds to consider expanding access to women of all ages.

Before Monday's decision, the the FDA had agreed to make the emergency contraceptive known as Plan B available without a prescription to women over 18 and only from a pharmacy counter.

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed suit in Brooklyn Federal Court, charging the Food and Drug Administration put politics before science in drafting the rules.

In his written decision, Judge Edward Korman noted there appeared to be "political considerations, delays and implausible justifications" in the decision-making process.

"The record shows that FDA officials and staff both agreed that 17-year-olds can use Plan B safely without a prescription," Korman wrote.

Nancy Northrup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, hailed the ruling.

"We are one step closer to making it fully available to all women, including young women for whom the barriers and benefits are so great," Northrup said.

One plaintiff in the suit demanded Plan B should be available for her 13-year-old daughter.

A spokesman for the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's office, which represented the FDA in the suit, said the ruling is being reviewed.