The Food and Drug Administration was ordered to make emergency contraception available to women regardless of age limits.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Edward Korman came as the result of a lawsuit brought by reproductive-rights advocates, who had sought to remove age and other restrictions on the so-called "morning after" pill.
In 2011 the Food and Drug Administration had been prepared to lift a controversial age limit and make Plan B One-Step -- the nation's first over-the-counter emergency contraceptive -- available for purchase by people of any age without a prescription. Plan B was being sold only with a prescription to those 17 and older showing an ID with proof of age.
But in December of that year Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius blocked the move, deciding that young girls shouldn't be able to buy it on their own. Sebelius said that while young girls are physically capable of bearing children, they might not properly understand how to use the emergency contraception without guidance from an adult.