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Judge Orders Morning-After Pill Available For All Ages

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A New York federal judge ruled Friday that the Food and Drug Administration must lift restrictions that delay a woman's access to the controversial plan B and next choice pill.

U.S. District Court Judge Edward Korman has ordered the contraception be made available over the counter without age or any other restrictions -- within 30 days -- charging the action to stymie availability is "politically motivated, unjustified, and contrary to agency precedent."

The FDA is so far not commenting.

As expected, the decision is polarizing pro-choice and anti-abortion advocates.

"Whether you are an immigrant woman who doesn't have ID of any age, whether you're a young woman who doesn't have health insurance or access to a prescription, we all benefit from getting EC right onto store shelves next to condoms and cough medicine," said Kimberly Inez McGuire of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

"A public school teacher in New York City cannot give an aspirin to a student who has a fever, yet we can allow the student of any age to have a pill to abort a child," said Pat McNamara of the Catholic League.

Currently, the pills are only available to women 17 years of age and older without a prescription.

Women under 17 are required to have a prescription.

Much like the pill's advocates and opponents, New Yorkers who spoke with NY1 were mixed on the new ruling.

"I think the pill should not be allowed for anybody. My personal opinion. Because I think it's an abortive pill," said one New Yorker.

"It's important for women and girls in trouble to have access to that medication. Sometimes they're not in a situation where they have family members to help them," said another New Yorker.

The FDA's restrictions on the emergency contraception began under the Bush administration but was supported by the Obama administration.

Korman said the case is not about potential misuse by very young girls and charges the contraceptives would be among the safest drugs sold over the counter.

He added the number of extremely young girls using them would be insignificant. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP