Judges Blocks Law Restricting OTC Emergency Contraception

On Monday, a state court temporarily blocked an Oklahoma law that would require persons 17 years or younger to have a prescription to access emergency contraception and require proof of age before purchasing the medication.

via Shutterstock
via Shutterstock

Judge Lisa T. Davis Rights awarded the New York-based Center for Reproductive a temporary injunctionagainst a law approved by Governor Mary Fallin (R) in May that requires minors under the age of 17 to have a prescription to access emergency contraception. For those over 17, the law requires that they present ID to a pharmacist in order to access the medication. The Center argued that the law places an unnecessary barrier to emergency contraception. Because the restrictions were the second topic of the law, it also violates Oklahoma’s constitutional “single subject” rule.

In June, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FDA had to make emergency contraception available over the counter without age or ID restrictions. David Brown, a staff attorney for the Center, argued that if the law were to take effect it “would have essentially reimposed” the federal restrictions that the court overturned.

“Oklahoma women may rest assured that they will not be denied access to this important means of preventing unintended pregnancy,” said Brown in a statement after the ruling. “And perhaps this latest in a long and growing list of federal and state court decisions vindicating women’s fundamental right to the full range of essential reproductive health care will at last put an end to the assaults of politicians bent on stripping away rights that all women must be guaranteed.”

Media Resources: Bloomberg 8/19/2013; Huffington Post 8/19/2013; New York Times 8/19/2013; Feminist Newswire 6/11/2013, 6/5/2013

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