- Paul Walker secretly bought $9K wedding ring for Iraq vet
- Mystery sign poster hits Washington state town: ‘It’s OK to say Merry Christmas’
- Pope Francis forms commission to advise on sex abuse
- Anthony Weiner on radio? Cumulus says, ‘Never, ever’
- Executive order: Obama ups green-energy mandate on feds to 20 percent
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- N.Y.’s Rockefeller Center lights up, as Bloomberg flicks on 76-foot Christmas tree
- Northern Ireland turns to ‘Game of Thrones’ to draw in tourists
- Washington woman live-tweets husband’s horrific car death
- China City of America mulled for New York — with $65M tax dollars
Obama administration to appeal Plan B contraception age limit
The Obama administration, under massive pressure from both sides of the culture war over contraception, has decided to appeal a federal court’s order to make a morning-after pill available to everyone without a prescription, just a day after expanding access to the pills for younger teenage girls.
On Wednesday evening, Justice Department officials said they had filed the appeal with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and also asked a district court to put on hold the early April ruling by Judge Edward Korman of New York that the administration must make Plan B One-Step available without restrictions.
In filing notice with the appeals court, Justice said Judge Korman exceeded his authority in ordering that Plan B and a generic equivalent must be sold to everybody like aspirin by May 5.
“The public interest will not be served by reclassification of drugs as non-prescription by order of a court, without appropriate agency decision-making procedures being followed,” U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch said in a letter to Judge Korman, noting that the government wants to “prevent public uncertainty regarding the status of the drugs at issue.”
“Moreover, if the status of these drugs is changed and later reversed, it can lead to situations in which women mistakenly believe that they can obtain the drug without a prescription or at certain locations where it used to be, but is no longer, available,” Ms. Lynch wrote. “Depending on the outcome of the appeal, the problem would be exacerbated because products with incorrect labeling will presumably remain on pharmacy shelves.”
The appeal was filed one day after the Food and Drug Administration moved to let girls as young as 15 obtain Plan B One-Step, one of the three types of emergency contraception, without a prescription. The current age limit is 17.
Ms. Lynch said the FDA did not make the change as a direct response to the federal case, but noted that all of the plaintiffs in the pending civil case were at least 15, so none of them would be injured by the decision to cut off access at that age.
“This is a decision that the FDA made, and that is appropriate because it’s an independent agency,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday. “The president, the White House, did not weigh in on this decision.”
That case puts the administration on tenuous ground with both its traditional allies and nemeses in the battle over abortion.
Conservative groups say the government is usurping the role of parents, while groups such as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the National Organization for Women say the administration is ignoring scientific evidence that the pill is suitable for all ages.
Judge Edward Korman rebuked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for making an “obviously political” decision in 2011 — one year before Mr. Obama’s re-election — to prohibit the sale of Plan B One-Step and its generic forms to girls younger than 17 unless they had a prescription.
Mr. Carney said the president supported Mrs. Sebelius’ decision, which was based on a lack of data regarding the pill’s effects on “younger girls and teens of reproductive age.”
The spokesman drew a distinction between Tuesday’s FDA approval and the judge’s 2011 decision, which was based on “the proposition that this medication could be made available to anyone of any age.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Young millennials shun Obamacare, creating risky imbalance
- Almost 1.5 million deemed eligible for Medicaid in October alone: Obama administration
- Federal judge set to decide Obamacare battle over subsidies
- Diagnosis: Health site better, but needs work
- Lawmakers on both sides doubt Obamacare website troubles over
Latest Blog Entries
- Tensions hit boiling point over Obamacare enrollment figures, error rates
- Young, uninsured adults vital to Obamacare are not keen on enrolling: New Harvard poll
- Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox will promote Obamacare at Mall of America
- HealthCare.gov employs a new look once again
- Rep. Gwen Moore: Supreme Court needs to 'rule on the side of women'
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
- American teacher shot and killed at Benghazi international school
- NAPOLITANO: Liberty, the wellspring of capitalism and charity
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Pentagon may give recruits 'a shot to start over' after shameful social media posts
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
- HARPER: 'Knockout game' not a myth to liberal Sharpton
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Inside the Ring: China targeting U.S. spy flights amid escalating tensions
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
History doesn't have to be grim; there is a lot to be learned from the pages of time.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.