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Obama OK with pill sale decision

Published: Friday, May 3, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

MEXICO CITY (AP) – President Barack Obama said Thursday he was comfortable with his administration’s decision to allow over-the-counter purchases of a morning-after pill for anyone 15 and older.

The Food and Drug Administration 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.”

What’s still unclear is whether the administration will prevail on its appeal of a court order that would lift all age limits on purchasers of the pill.

That decision to appeal set off 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 late Wednesday.

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