The Justice Department is appealing a decision by a judge to lift age restrictions on who can purchase the morning-after pill. (Source: CNN)
(RNN) - The Justice Department will appeal a judge's decision to make the morning-after pill available to women and girls of all ages on Wednesday.
The day before, the Food and Drug Administration announced the Plan B pill would be available to girls 15 and older without a prescription and over-the-counter. Currently the age limit is 17.
The Justice Department claims U.S. District Judge Edward Korman of New York exceeded his authority, according to the Associated Press. Korman had given the FDA until Monday to lift the age ban for the morning-after pill.
The product was to be available in retail outlets with pharmacies and sold during non-pharmacy hours.
The FDA approved Plan B in 1999.
The drug stops an egg from being released from the ovary, preventing fertilization of the egg by sperm.
If there has been fertilization, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from embedding in the uterus, but the drug must be taken within 72 hours after sex
However, if the egg has already implanted in the uterus, the morning-after pill will not work.
Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, overturned a decision by the FDA to remove the age restriction on Plan-B, stating that young girls may not have the maturity to understand all the facts about the pill and how to use it.
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