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Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn Sebelius' Decision, Allow Wider 'Morning-After-Pill' Access

Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn Sebelius' Decision, Allow Wider 'Morning-After-Pill' Access

Posted 09 February 2012 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

A coalition led by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) on 8 February sought to overturn a decision made by US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The group appeared before Judge Edward Korman of the US District Court in Brooklyn, NY, to petition the court to re-open a lawsuit that would allow those under the age of 17 to access the "morning-after-pill" levonorgestrel without a doctor's prescription.

While the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of levonorgestrel for those under the age of 17 in late 2011, Sebelius overturned FDA's decision before it could be implemented because she believed there was insufficient evidence to support the sponsor's claims.

Retuers notes the reversal was "the first time in agency history the [D]HHS overruled a scientific recommendation from FDA."

The coalition also asked Korman to add Sebelius as a defendant to the lawsuit, saying that "the path towards OTC status for post-coital contraception has been unnecessarily complicated by political interference."

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