Judge rules morning-after pill must be available to women of all - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Judge rules morning-after pill must be available to women of all ages

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A New York Federal Judge's ruling, ordering the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make emergency contraceptives available to people of any age without a prescription, overturns a 2011 decision by the Health and Human Services Secretary to require a prescription for girls under 17.

We asked women for their opinion on the issue.

"It's not candy. It's not Tylenol," said mother, Danielle Griffin. "I don't think an 11 or 14 year-old is ready enough to make that decision on their own."

Denise Kee, another mother, said, "It takes away a parent's right to make decisions for their child."

Rocio Barahona, said, "It's not a good idea. I think they should learn responsibility at a young age and I don't think that would help."

"This age differential doesn't make any sense. You're either going to be responsible or you're not going to be responsible," said Jim Harrington, with the Texas Civil Rights Project. "It's just a religious agenda, in a sense, that has inserted itself into the politics of the FDA and the judge just simply said, we've had enough of this."

The federal judge criticized the FDA for failing to adopt an age-restricted marketing regime.

"My biggest concern is just the long term effects on a woman's body, that is constantly using this pill to trick your body in order to not conceive," said Cesi Barahona, a mother.

The judge also says the morning after pill would be one of the safest drugs sold over-the-counter.

Griffin said, "I'm a parent and I wouldn't want my daughter having to make that decision, you know, on her own."

"However, at the same time, I know that there are teens that are being sexually active without their parent's permission...it kind of gives them that access to that," said Kee.

Harrington brings up another scenario.

He said, "There's a lot of incest. There's a lot of date rape that goes on. There's a lot of exploitation of younger girls, why penalize them?"

If the FDA doesn't appeal the ruling, in 30 days...anyone, of any age will be able to walk into a pharmacy and buy the morning after pill, no questions asked.

There are two other outcomes that can follow the federal ruling; the FDA can appeal and prohibit it from being enforced or the ruling can take place during the appeal process.

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