In December 2011, the Food and Drug Administration decided to eliminate the age restriction but, according to the National Women 's Liberation, in an unprecedented move, Health and Human Services blocked the change with Obama's support.
"There is no medical reason for the age restriction," Brooke Eliazar-Macke, co-chair of the National Women's Liberation 's New York Chapter, told Women 's eNews.
Annie Tummino, a coordinator for National Women's Liberation Coordinator and lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, added that, "The denial of full access to the morning-after pill has been an outrageous political decision and wholly without scientific basis – under both the Bush and Obama administrations."
In a 2011 statement, as an explanation for its decision, Health and Human Services said,
"However, the switch from prescription to over the counter for this product requires that we have enough evidence to show that those who use this medicine can understand the label and use the product appropriately."
When Macke was a teenager she needed the morning-after pill, but age restrictions prevented her from buying it. Afraid to ask her mother, she instead made her own emergency contraception by taking her mother 's birth control.
This unsafe practice is a reality for many young women across the country who, due to the 17 and over age limit, are unable to get safe forms of emergency birth control without a prescription.
"Right now, President Obama and Health and Human Services are keeping a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy behind the counter--in spite of the FDA's recommendations, " Macke said.
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