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A great way to start the weekend!  A federal judge ruled that emergency contraception, more commonly known as the morning-after pill, must be available over the counter, without any age restrictions. This is a major victory for women of all ages.  

By postponing ovulation before a pregnancy can occur, emergency contraception serves as a safe and effective option when things don’t work out as planned. If a woman fears she might become pregnant, the last thing she wants is a delay at the pharmacy counter. And considering emergency contraception is more effective the sooner it is taken, lifting the restrictions will go a long way towards more timely access.

In spite of this historic victory, some continue to deliberately conflate emergency contraception with abortion—an intentional mischaracterization in an attempt to further restrict access to emergency contraception. But after a long battle, every woman will now have access to this safe and easy method of birth control.

Studies show emergency contraception is safe for women of all ages, including teens. Women understand that it’s not intended for ongoing, regular use, and rates of unprotected sex do not increase when they have easier access to emergency birth control.  It’s these studies that led to the Food and Drug Administration’s 2011 recommendation of doing away with any age restriction.

As our own Cecile Richards tweeted upon hearing the news, “Science prevails!” This ruling is not only good science and policy, it’s common sense. It’s a major step forward in allowing women to make their own, personal medical decisions, without interference from politicians.

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