Alabamians react to judge's ruling on morning-after pill - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Alabamians react to judge's ruling on morning-after pill

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A federal judge has ruled that the morning after pill should be available over the counter without age restrictions. Source: WBRC video A federal judge has ruled that the morning after pill should be available over the counter without age restrictions. Source: WBRC video
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

A federal judge's decision is lifting age restrictions on prescriptions for the morning after pill.

The judge ruled the government must make the morning after pill, or Plan B One-Step, available over the counter to young girls 16 years and younger.

The decision overturns Health and Human Services Secretary decision to not make the pill available to anyone under 17 without a prescription.

The ruling shocked pro-life advocates in Jefferson County.

"I think it's absolutely criminal to say 10, 11, 12, 13-year-old girls can go into a pharmacy and pickup those pills," pro-life activist Jim Pinto said.

This week the Alabama Legislature approved tighter regulations for abortion clinics in Alabama. Pro-choice advocates believe this was an attempt toward ending abortions in the state.

Birmingham Representative Pat Todd said the demand for the morning after pill could increase if that happens. Todd said the state should move to create better sex education and to make contraceptives available.

"We have seen an increase in teen pregnancy that costs the state money. I don't know why were aren't serious about looking at that access to birth control and evidence-based sexual health education," Todd said.

Meanwhile, Pinto believes the federal court ruling could lead to dire consequences for young girls.

"The long term effects of hormones have been proven. These little girls when they are in there, who will be fearful they may be pregnant, will be popping these things like they are M&M's," Pinto said.

It's going to be up the federal Food and Drug Administration if they want to appeal this ruling. Pinto hopes someone appeals because he wants to see the case go the Supreme Court.

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