WASHINGTON – The Obama administration on Wednesday appealed a federal judge’s order to lift all age limits on who can buy morning-after birth-control pills without a prescription.
In appealing the ruling, the administration recommitted itself to a position Obama took during his re-election campaign that younger teens shouldn’t have unabated access to emergency contraceptives.
A day earlier, the Food and Drug Administration lowered the age that people can buy the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill without a prescription to 15 – younger than the current limit of 17 – and decided that the pill could be sold on drugstore shelves instead of locked behind pharmacy counters.
That decision appeared to fly in the face of a judge’s decision last month that women of any age should be allowed to buy both Plan B and its cheaper generic competition as easily as they can buy aspirin. U.S. District Judge Edward Korman of New York gave the FDA 30 days to comply, and the Monday deadline was approaching fast, prompting the administration on Wednesday to ask the court to put the ruling on hold while it reconsiders.