Brooklyn, New York — A federal judge appointed by Ronald Reagan has ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make the morning-after pill available over-the-counter for girls of all ages, removing current restrictions for those age 16 and younger.
Judge Edward R. Korman of the United States District Court for Eastern District of New York released his decision on Friday, blasting the Obama administration for not making Plan B, and other generic variations of the pill, available to all ages. He stated that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius likely had the presidential election in mind when she set the age limit to 17 in 2011.
Korman called Sebelius’ restriction “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.”
“The motivation for the secretary’s action was obviously political,” he wrote. “[I]t was scientifically unjustified, and contrary to agency precedent.”
But Sebelius stated in 2011 that the basis of her decision was her belief that Teva Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturers of Plan B, had not yet researched whether the morning-after pill might be harmful to girls as young as age 11. White House spokesman James Carney told reporters following the decision that Barack Obama likewise had been hesitant to declare the pill as being safe for children.
“He believed it was a common-sense approach when it comes to Plan B and its availability,” Carney said.
The morning-after pill, however, has been at the center of controversy since the abortion pill mandate went into on effect as part of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, on January 1st. Businesses nationwide are required to provide insurance coverage for their employee’s use of the morning-after and week-after pills, which many believe are abortifacients. Hobby Lobby, Tyndale House Publishers and Domino’s Farms Corporation are among the numerous businesses that have filed for an injunction against the mandate.
Last year, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal stated that he believed contraceptives of all kinds should freely be made available over-the-counter to avoid any further argument about the health care requirement.
“As a conservative Republican, I believe that we have been stupid to let the Democrats demagogue the contraceptives issue and pretend, during debates about health-care insurance, that Republicans are somehow against birth control,” he wrote in in op-ed in The Wall Street Journal in December. “As an unapologetic pro-life Republican, I also believe that every adult (18 years old and over) who wants contraception should be able to purchase it. But anyone who has a religious objection to contraception should not be forced by government health-care edicts to purchase it for others.”
However, now that Judge Korman has made the morning-after pill available for children and adults alike, many believe that it is the wrong decision — including many young girls.
“The judge had no right to make this decision, putting young children at risk without our parents’ knowledge,” wrote Mymoema Davids, age 14. “How can Judge Korman think 9- and 10-year-olds that can’t see a PG-13 movie can take Plan B and read the instructions? … It is illegal for anyone under 18 to drink alcohol or vote. So why are 9-year-olds allowed to have the ‘morning-after’ pill?”
“Judge Korman and our society are exposing young children to promiscuous behavior, lascivious music and TV shows,” she added.
Korman has given the FDA 30 days to lift its age and sale restrictions on Plan B and similar products.