WASHINGTON — Women's health advocates said they will sue the US government for allegedly violating the constitutional rights of young teens by denying them over-the-counter access to emergency contraception.
The suit is a new escalation in the decade-long battle over whether young teens should be able to get the morning-after pill without seeing a doctor first, and comes a week after the US government blocked access without a prescription to those under 17.
Women's health groups have been urging the Food and Drug Administration to make emergency contraception more widely available to girls by filing a citizen's petition asking the regulator to remove prescription requirements.
A federal judge in Brooklyn held a hearing on the matter Tuesday and ruled that the Center for Reproductive Rights no longer had any standing to hold the FDA in contempt for ignoring a 2001 petition, because the FDA had answered at the last minute late Monday, saying it needed more data.
However, Judge Edward Korman, who has sided with women's groups in the past, urged them to reopen a 2005 lawsuit that alleges the FDA is violating women's rights and exceeding its own authority in an "arbitrary and capricious" way.
AFP: US court battle escalates over morning-after pill