A federal judge in New York City has accused the government of playing politics with health-related issues.
Last month, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Korman reversed the FDA’s 2011 decision to limit access to contraceptive drug Plan B to women 17 and older, and to have it only available over-the-counter. Korman ordered that the drug be available on drug store shelves, and allowed women of all ages to purchase it, citing the fact there are no harmful health effects for young girls.
On Tuesday, Korman said at a hearing that the FDA decision last week about allowing over-the-counter sales of Plan B to girls as young as 15 was announced in order to undermine his ruling, which was set to go into effect this week.
Korman was asked by the government to suspend his ruling until the appeals process is concluded, and so that drug stores are not confused as to what rules to obey: Korman’s or the FDA’s.
The appeals process, however, can take months or years, according to reproductive rights groups. The judge said he will announce his decision on the request to suspend his ruling later this week.