Debate Rages On Prescription Status For "Plan B" Pill (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Debate Rages On Prescription Status For “Plan B” Pill (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A federal judge has ruled the Food and Drug Administration must offer the so-called “morning after” pill over the counter to women of all ages regardless of age limits. The decision has reverberated on social media around the nation and in North Texas.

U.S. District Judge Edward Korman issued the decision Friday in federal court in Brooklyn.

The ruling came as the result of a lawsuit brought by reproductive-rights advocates who had sought to remove age and other restrictions on the morning after pill.

The pill, which is sold as Plan B, can halt pregnancy if taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex.

Korman said his order must be carried out within a month and he criticized the FDA for failing to engage in rule-making to adopt an age-restricted marketing regime. He said the plaintiffs should not be forced to endure and the agency’s misconduct should not be rewarded for its “delay and obstruction.”

He said the case isn’t about the potential misuse of the morning-after pill by 11-year-olds. He said the contraceptives would be among the safest drugs sold over-the-counter and said the number of 11-year-olds likely to use the drugs was minuscule.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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