As the topic of emergency contraception continues to be a controversial subject for political debate, a federal judge has ordered the Food and Drug Administration make the morning-after pill available over the counter to all ages.

US District Judge Edward Korman handed down the ruling Friday morning in response to a lawsuit brought by a reproductive-rights group urging the court to remove age restrictions on emergency contraception, Reuters reported.

These alternatives steps to avoiding pregnancy can be taken five days after unprotected sex and work by disrupting fertilization and ovulation. It is considered a safe and effective measure and can be found at most pharmacies or health centers.

Up until now girls under the age of 17 required a prescription from their physician to acquire emergency birth control medication like Plan B One-Step, Next Choice and Ella.

Back in February 2011, Teva Women's Health Inc. presented a supplemental drug application to the FDA in hopes of making Plan B One-Step available over the counter to girls of all ages.

According to President Obama's Department of Health and Human Services administration the application did not provide enough evidence that consumers' would fully understand the necessary uses for the medication.

Forms of emergency contraception such as Plan B and Next Choice have shown 89 percent effectiveness when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.

Planned Parenthood's website offers a wide range of information to help girls decide if emergency contraception is the best step for them.

The FDA has denied comment until all legal proceedings on the matter have been resolved.