Today U.S. District Judge Edward Korman set a date of May 10 for the Obama administration to comply with an April 5 order to lift Food and Drug Administration (FDA) restrictions on the sale of emergency contraception. The Obama administration was supposed to comply by May 5 but yesterday filed an appeal of the ruling and requested the order be stayed until the appeal is resolved.
According to the judge’s order, in the event that Judge Korman denies the Obama administration’s request for a stay pending appeal, he will permit a temporary stay while the administration seeks review from the Court of Appeals.
In the short-term that means the likelihood of the FDA complying with the May 10 deadline is all but nonexistent. Should Judge Korman grant the administration’s request for a stay pending appeal, then Plan B with its current restrictions will be the only emergency contraception available over-the-counter, while the legal battle over broader access continues in the courts. Should Judge Korman deny the administration’s request then the order will still not be implemented unless the administration drops its legal challenge.
A hearing on the Obama administration’s motion for a stay will take place on Tuesday, May 7 at 11 am.