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"Morning-after pill to be available to 17-year-olds over counter"

As reported by The Los Angeles Times, "The Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that it would allow 17-year-olds to buy the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B without a prescription."

The change in policy occurred after U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman rejected a policy last month from the Bush administration that restricted people under the age of 18 from purchasing non-prescribed emergency contraceptive pills.

The FDA agreed to Korman's ruling. The LA Times wrote that, in a statement Wednesday, the FDA said that it would "support expanded marketing of Plan B to 17-year-olds upon receipt of a request from the drug's manufacturer. Males 17 and older could also buy the drug for their partners."

"No useful purpose would be served by continuing to deprive 17-year-olds access to Plan B without a prescription," Korman said. "The record shows that FDA officials and staff both agreed that 17-year-olds can use Plan B safely without a prescription."

Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights said she was glad for the policy change.

"We commend the FDA," Northup said. "It is a key step for the agency as it seeks to restore confidence in its ability to safeguard public health and leave politics at the lab door."