If the court order stands, Plan B One-Step and its generic versions could move from behind pharmacy counters out to drugstore shelves — ending a struggle by women’s groups for easier access to the pills.
Women’s health specialists hailed the judge’s ruling, dismissing concerns that it could encourage underage people to have sex.
Yet social conservatives, in a rare show of support for Obama’s approach to social policy, said the ruling removes common-sense protections and denies parents and medical professionals the opportunity to be a safeguard for vulnerable young girls.
“The court’s action undermines parents’ ability to protect their daughters from such exploitation and from the adverse effects of the drug itself,” US Conference of Catholic Bishops spokeswoman Deirdre McQuade said.
Barring an appeal or a government request for more time to prepare one, the ruling will take effect in 30 days, meaning that over-the-counter sales could start then.