Emergency contraceptives

Ruling Removes Age-Limitation on Plan B Pill

Girls younger than 17 can now receive the morning-after pill without a prescription

Emergency contraceptives

Emergency contraceptives such as Plan B should be made available over the counter to all customers within 30 days, a federal judge ruled.

Getty Images, Justin Sullivan

In a sharply worded ruling that called government regulators "politically motivated and scientifically unjustified," U.S. District Judge Edward Korman ruled that levonorgestrel-based contraceptives such as Plan B One-Step and Next Choice One Dose should be available over the counter to all customers within 30 days.

"There is no serious health risk associated with use of Plan B as prescribed and intended, much less one that would make restrictions on distribution necessary for its safe use," Korman wrote.

Unless successfully appealed by the U.S. Department of Justice, the ruling would make contraceptives as readily available to minors as Tylenol or Benadryl. The biggest barrier to access would be the pill's hefty $50 price tag.

Reproductive rights advocates hailed Korman's ruling as a victory of science over politics, and said the ruling was a long time in coming for the politically sensitive drug.

Stay in the Know
Sign up for the Ebony Newsletter