FDA approves over-the-counter sale of Plan B, lifts age restrictions

After years of political delays, the FDA has removed barriers to accessing Plan B One-Step

By Katie McDonough

Published June 21, 2013 12:23PM (EDT)

         (Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)
(Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

After years of political delays, the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved over-the-counter sale of Plan B One-Step emergency contraception to women and girls without age or point-of-sale restrictions.

In a statement announcing the change, the FDA said it was complying with an order from U.S. District Court Judge Edward Korman, who had previously slammed the Obama administration's obstructionism over access to emergency contraception as "politically motivated, scientifically unjustified, and contrary to agency precedent."

Before Plan B can be sold in accordance with the new rules, the packaging on the product must first be updated, a process that could take weeks or months, as the Los Angeles Times notes.

But despite the expected delays, reproductive health advocates applauded the Thursday announcement: "It's about time," Chris Iseli, a spokesman for the Center for Reproductive Rights, told the Times. "It's taken too long to bring emergency contraception out from behind the pharmacy counter."


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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