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HHS overrules FDA, says no to OTC morning-after pill

HHS Secretary Sebelius overruled the FDA, saying young teens cannot buy the morning-after pill without a prescription.

December 7, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the FDA on Wednesday, saying young teens cannot buy the morning-after pill without a prescription.

The pill can prevent pregnancy if taken soon enough after unprotected sex. Currently, only those 17 or older can buy Plan B One-Step without a prescription.

The decision was surprising because her own experts were preparing to let it be sold on drugstore shelves like condoms.

Sebelius said she was concerned that young girls couldn't properly understand how to use it without guidance from an adult.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.