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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday had lowered the age at which people can buy the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill without a prescription to 15 — younger than the current limit of 17. The FDA decided that the pill could be sold on drugstore shelves near condoms, instead of locked behind pharmacy counters.
Obama, speaking at a news conference while in Mexico, said the FDA’s decision was based on “solid scientific evidence.”
Whether or not to lift all age limits on purchasers of the pill is an issue that still has yet to be determined, a topic that initiated a storm of criticism from reproductive rights groups, who denounced it as politically motivated and a step backward for women’s health.
“We are profoundly disappointed. This appeal takes away the promise of all women having timely access to emergency contraception,” Susannah Baruch, Interim President & CEO of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, said in a statement. “It is especially troubling in light of the Food and Drug Administration’s move yesterday to continue age restrictions and ID requirements, despite a court order to make emergency contraception accessible for women of all ages. Both announcements, particularly in tandem, highlight the administration’s corner-cutting on women’s health,” Baruch said. “It’s a sad day for women’s health when politics prevails.”