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Morning-after pill: how the politics of Plan B changed for Obama

In a change of course, the Obama administration has cleared the way for Plan B One-Step to become easily available to women and girls of all ages. Social conservatives are furious.

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A Plan B One-Step emergency contraceptive box is seen in New York in this file photo taken April 5. The Obama administration announced late Monday that it is dropping its effort to limit sales of the most common morning-after pill.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

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After 14 years, the legal battle over access to Plan B – emergency contraception – has ended. The Obama administration announced late Monday that it is dropping its effort to limit sales of the most common morning-after pill, in the face of judicial opposition.

Soon, women and girls of all ages – not just those age 15 and older – will be able to buy the drug over the counter without restrictions. The drug is designed to prevent pregnancy up to 72 hours after unprotected sex.

The decision came after a string of legal defeats, most recently last Wednesday, when the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit refused to delay part of a lower-court judge’s order to make the pill available over the counter to people of all ages.

 
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