FDA Lowers Age for Plan B Contraception Pill to 15

This undated image made available by Teva Women's Health shows the packaging for their Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel) tablet, one of the brands known as the "morning-after pill." About 1 in 9 younger women who've had sex have taken the morning-after pill, according to the first government report to focus on use of emergency contraception since it was approved in 1998. At least five versions of the morning-after pills are sold in the United States. The results of the study were released Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (AP Photo/Teva Women's Health)
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a surprise twist to the effort to ease access to morning-after pills, the government has lowered the age limit to 15 for one brand -- Plan B One-Step -- and will let it be sold over the counter.

Today, Plan B and its generic competition are sold behind pharmacy counters, and people must prove they're 17 or older to buy the emergency contraception without a prescription. A federal judge had ordered those restrictions to be dropped.

But on Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved a different approach: Plan B could sit on drugstore shelves with other women's health products -- but buyers must prove they're 15 or older at the cash register.

Manufacturer Teva Women's Health says it plans to make the switch in a few months.