In an enormous victory for women and girls across the nation, the Food and Drug Administration finally approved the Plan B One-Step brand morning-after pill for over-the-counter use. Plan B One-Step is a one-pill version of emergency contraception and this approval covers women and girls of all ages. Like all EC, it is more effective the sooner it is taken after unprotected sex. If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, EC is almost 90 percent more effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration backed off its resistance to making the morning-after pill accessible OTC to women and girls of all ages. Previously, Obama had been against girls younger than 15 being able to access the pill.
This final victory caps a years-long battle in women’s reproductive rights. In May, following a federal court decision, the FDA lowered the purchasing age of the morning-after pill to 15 and put it on shelves instead of behind the counter. Shortly thereafter, the Justice Department announced it would appeal the court’s decision over a concern that EC hadn’t been adequately tested on girls under 15. And then earlier this month, a federal appeals court ruled that the two-pill version of EC must be available immediately over-the-counter without age restrictions.
The FDA said earlier this month that it asked Plan B One-Step’s manufacturers to submit an application to make it available OTC, which it intended to approve. Following that procedure, now the one-pill version is finally available to any woman or girl who needs it as well.
Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard on this!
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