U.S. District Judge Edward Korman, asked by the government on Tuesday to freeze his plan giving teenage girls broader access to morning-after birth control, instead seized the chance to accuse health officials of taking steps that would end up hurting poor people and improve their chances of prevailing in a protracted legal fight with reproductive rights advocates.
At a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn, Korman told an assistant U.S. attorney that the FDA ruling was a cynical attempt to "sugarcoat this appeal of yours."
Korman said he would issue a ruling before the end of the week on the request to stay his order. But he left little doubt about where he stood, accusing the Justice Department lawyer of "intellectual dishonesty" and calling further delays in the 12-year-old case "a charade."
"The poor, the young and African-Americans are going to be put in the position of not having access to this drug," he said. Making the same point earlier, he asked, "Is that the policy of the Obama administration?"