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Judge blocks Oklahoma law on "Plan B" emergency contraception

By Carey Gillam

(Reuters) - A judge in Oklahoma issued a temporary restraining order on Monday blocking implementation of a law that critics said would limit a woman's access to emergency contraception known as the "morning after pill," court records showed.

"Once again Oklahoma politicians' efforts to turn back the clock on women's health and rights have been blocked," David Brown, an attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in an emailed statement.

The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice sued the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt on August 8, claiming the law violated Oklahoma's constitution and put up barriers for women who wanted to use legal contraception.

The order was issued by State District Court Judge Lisa Davis.

The law, signed by Republican Governor Mary Fallin on May 29, included a provision requiring women 17 years of age and older to show identification to a pharmacist to obtain Plan B One-Step contraception, commonly called the morning after pill, and requiring those under 17 to have a prescription for it.

There was no immediate response to a request for comment from the governor's office or the state pharmacy board.

Diane Clay, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Pruitt, said in a statement, "The law simply keeps requirements the same as they have been for more than a decade, requiring those under age 17 to have a prescription to buy Plan B emergency contraceptives."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Plan B One-Step for over-the-counter sales on June 20 with no age or point-of-sale restrictions and no identification requirements for purchase.

Plan B One-Step is marketed as an emergency contraceptive that can help prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after birth control failure or unprotected sex. It has been a point of contention for years between abortion rights groups and abortion opponents.

(Reporting By Carey Gillam; Editing by Greg McCune)

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