Federal Judges Strikes Age Restrictions for Plan B Over the Counter
U.S. District Judge Edward Korman ruled on Friday morning that the morning-after-pill or "Plan B" must be made available over the counter for any girl, regardless of her age. The decision comes as part of a lawsuit against the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by reproductive rights organizations to remove the age and sales restrictions on emergency contraception.
Judge Korman stated in his opinion that the FDA's refusal to lift restrictions was "arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable." "More than 12 years have passed since the citizen petition was filed and 8 years since this lawsuit commenced," the judge wrote. "The F.D.A. has engaged in intolerable delays in processing the petition. Indeed, it could accurately be described as an administrative agency filibuster." He continued, "The plaintiffs should not be forced to endure, nor should the agency's misconduct be rewarded by, an exercise that permits the F.D.A. to engage in further delay and obstruction." He ordered the FDA to lift any age and sales restrictions on Plan B within 30 days.
Nancy Northrup of the Center for Reproductive Rights applauded the judge's decision: "Women all over the country will no longer face arbitrary delays and barriers just to get emergency contraception," she said.
Media Resources: CBS 4/5/2013; New York Times 4/5/2013; Reuters 4/5/2013
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .