I believe in making common cause with people of all persuasions, but here’s what I learned about the quest for common ground on issues where people have diametrically opposing worldviews. Originally published at On The Issues Magazine.

©Elaine Soto

©Elaine SotoThe day before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was expected to rule, rumors circulated that the agency would approve Plan B One Step emergency contraception as a non-prescription item and allow it to be sold without age restrictions. Freelance writer Robin Marty predicted via e-mail, “Conservative reaction will be a total shitstorm.”

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It’s been a way too long time coming, and who knows how many thousands of women women have been denied access to reproductive health care they needed during the delay?

But good news: Today, a federal District Court ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acted improperly when it “repeatedly and unreasonably” dragged its heels and failed to issue a decision on emergency contraception (EC), and that there was no basis in science (not to mention the FDA’s own expert advisors) to have denied over-the-counter sales of EC to those aged 17 and under.

Emergency contraception is simply a high dose of birth control pills–contraception–that can prevent a pregnancy from occurring if taking within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse. Predictability groups that oppose birth control labeled EC an abortifacient and alleged that access to it would “cause” promiscuity–an old canard about as reasonable as blaming fire engines for causing fires. If a woman is pregnant already, EC won’t work, nor will it damage a fetus. The worst side effect that has been determined after decades of use is nausea.

From RHRealityCheck’s report on today’s court ruling:

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