U.S. Federal Judge Lifts Age Limit On Morning After Pill

Morning After Pill

A U.S. Federal Judge has provided women with a huge win regarding their reproductive rights.  Judge Edward Korman said a decision by the US health secretary to limit over-the-counter purchases of the so-called “morning after pill” to those 17 and older was “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable”. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which brought the case, argued that there was no scientific proof that girls younger than 17 could not safely use the drug without parental supervision.   It’s about time women are given full control of their bodies and reproductive health.  Instead of women being on the defensive, perhaps men should be limited by the government in their sexual behavior so that girls don’t need access to such drugs.  Let’s see how popular that would be.  The Religious right and social conservatives argued that allowing younger girls to obtain the drug, would promote promiscuity.  Of course there is no evidence or proof to justify that claim. These same groups would argue that girls or women of any age, should also be denied the right to contraception.  In 2011, the FDA actually ruled that girls younger than 17 could use the pill but was over ruled in an unprecedented move by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  Attorneys for the Obama administration are reviewing the decision and deciding whether or not to challenge it.  One would hope President Obama, with his change of opinion regarding same-sex marriage, would also back this basic right to reproductive health.  Spokeswoman Nancy Northup of The Center For Reproductive rights told Reuters that “Women all over the country will no longer face arbitrary delays and barriers just to get emergency contraception.”  This is an important victory.  It tells the government and religious groups to stay out of very personal and difficult decisions that have absolutely nothing to do with anyone, other than the girls and women faced with making those decisions.

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