Carney: Change in administration’s Plan B policy driven by court decision

It was an appeals court decision last week that led the Obama administration on Monday to give up its fight to keep age restrictions on Plan B morning-after pills, according to his spokesman.

But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that, despite this giving up, President Obama still harbors deep reservations about whether the medication should be readily available to “young girls, ages 10 and 11.”

The administration’s dropping of the case came after an appeals court ruled that a generic, two-pill version of emergency contraception drugs be made available to women of all ages without restrictions. The court, however, did grant a delay to keep Plan B One-Step and other one-pill medications restricted to girls over the age of 15.

Taken together, those two decisions meant that a two-pill version would’ve been available without a prescription, and Mr. Carney said the administration made a practical decision that it would be best to put the “simpler” form of the drug on shelves.

“We have been through a legal process and the court has ruled against the administration … It was the decision, given the court ruling, to proceed with making the simpler version of Plan B available,” Mr. Carney told reporters on Tuesday. “It was the decision the president supports to proceed to making sure the [Food and Drug Administration] approved the simpler version of Plan B.”

The decision makes Plan B One-Step available to anyone on store shelves everywhere, similar to other over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin.

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