Buying Plan B Will No Longer Require an ID or a Prescription

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/22069127@N03/2695489692/">VixyView</a>/Flickr

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


The Obama administration did an about-face on emergency contraception Monday evening, announcing that it will allow women to obtain Plan B One-Step over the counter without age restrictions or ID requirements.

Last month, the Department of Justice had appealed an April 5 ruling by US District Court Judge Edward R. Korman, who said the Food and Drug Administration should make all forms of levonorgestrel-based emergency contraception, or EC, available over the counter to all women, regardless of age. Here’s the letter the DOJ sent Korman on Monday:

We write to advise the Court that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have complied with the Court’s April 10, 2013, judgment in the above-referenced case by granting the 2001 Citizen Petition and making Plan B One-Step (PBOS) available over-the-counter (OTC) without age or point-of-sale restrictions as described below. It is the government’s understanding that this course of action fully complies with the Court’s judgment in this action. Once the Court confirms that the government’s understanding is correct, the government intends to file with the Circuit Court notice that it is voluntarily withdrawing its appeal in this matter.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, which had sued the administration to force universal availability of EC, welcomed the change, but noted that it still does not go far enough. “Now that the appeals court has forced the federal government’s hand, the FDA is finally taking a significant step forward,” said the group’s president, Nancy Northup. “But the Obama Administration continues to unjustifiably deny the same wide availability for generic, more affordable brands of emergency contraception.”

Northup added that CRR “will continue to fight for fair treatment for women who want and need more affordable options.”

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate