The Obama administration’s crusade to block over-the-counter access to emergency contraception for women of all ages has hit yet another road block. On Wednesday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the administration to make two-pill versions of emergency contraception immediately available over the counter to women of all ages. The court will, however, hear arguments on limiting access to one-pill emergency contraception, including the popular Plan B One-Step.
In April, district Judge Edward Korman ordered the FDA to immediately lift restrictions on the morning-after pill. The Obama administration resisted, instead going forward with a more limited plan to lower the eligible age from 17 to 15. In a series of contemptuous opinions, Korman called the Obama administration’s defiance “an insult to the intelligence of women” and “a charade” meant to stall his original order.
Gynecologists and medical experts have watched the political scuffle over emergency contraception with bemusement, as the administration’s arbitrary age restriction on the medication has no grounding in science. The morning-after pill is actually safer than aspirin, according to extensive research.
What’s more, the age restriction would have likely driven up prices and left many older women unable to buy the contraception if they couldn’t show a government-issued ID proving their age.
If the administration wants to continue this deeply unpopular battle, they will now have to appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court.