Attorney General

US drops appeal over morning-after pill, paving way for sale without age restrictions

The United States won’t appeal a federal judge’s scathing ruling allowing unrestricted sales of the morning-after pill.

The Justice Department announced plans to drop the appeal on Monday in a letter to U.S. District Judge Edward Korman of Brooklyn, report the New York Times and the Washington Post. Korman ruled in April that the government was “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” when it refused to lift age restrictions on over-the-counter sales of Plan B One-Step morning-after pills.

Last week a federal appeals court in New York ruled that one-pill morning-after pills such as Plan B One-Step may not be sold to those under 15 pending appeal, but two-pill versions may be sold to those of any age. According to the Post, the administration preferred to allow the simpler Plan B One-Step to be sold without age restrictions, rather than to allow unrestricted sales of the two-pill version.

The Times suggests another motivation. “The Justice Department appears to have concluded that it might lose its case with the appeals court and would have to decide whether to appeal to the Supreme Court,” the story says. “That would drastically elevate the debate over the politically delicate issue for Mr. Obama.”

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