Republican-led states are trying to crack down on abortion medication

A recent law in Louisiana highlights the effort to block access to mifepristone even as the Supreme Court considers a case that could restrict its use.

By Amanda Becker, Shefali Luthra
May 31, 2024

The Supreme Court is set to rule soon on how the abortion drug mifepristone can be used and prescribed, but conservative states — most recently Arkansas and Louisiana — haven’t waited to take their own steps to attempt to undercut access to the medication.

States have been able to ban or restrict abortion, including via medication, since the Supreme Court ended the federal right to abortion in June 2022. Yet the number of abortions has risen since Roe v. Wade was overturned — a development health researchers attribute in part to a growing share of pregnant patients seeking medication abortions through telemedicine, including those in states with bans.


Texas Supreme Court Rules Against Women Denied Abortion Care Despite Dangerous Pregnancy Complications

Center for Reproductive Rights
May 31, 2024

Today the Texas Supreme Court denied claims brought by 20 women denied abortion care despite facing dangerous pregnancy complications and refused to clarify exceptions to the state’s abortion bans.

The ruling in the high-profile case, Zurawski v. State of Texas, left physicians without clarity about the circumstances under which they can use their own medical judgement to provide abortion care without fear of prosecution.


Countries commit to recover lost progress in maternal, newborn & child survival

30 May 2024
World Health Organization

Alarmed by the stagnation of progress in reducing maternal and child mortality, countries today passed a critical Resolution at the World Health Assembly (WHA) committing to specific actions to prevent deaths of women, babies and children.

Annually, 287,000 women die in pregnancy or childbirth, 4.9 million children die of largely preventable causes before their 5th birthday, and there are 1.9 million stillbirths. Most of these deaths are linked to preventable or treatable conditions, and can largely be averted with access to timely, high quality health care services. Progress in reducing maternal deaths has stalled since 2016, while survival gains for newborns and young children have lost pace.


How a Trump win could hurt abortion access around the world

Countries from Ethiopia to Nepal felt the pinch on reproductive health during Trump's first term. What would a second bring?

David Sherfinski
May 30, 2024

RICHMOND, Virginia - This year's election between President Joe Biden and his Republican opponent Donald Trump threatens to upend abortion access and reproductive health services far beyond the United States.

Anti-abortion advocates are already drawing up plans for Trump to reinstate and expand funding restrictions on overseas groups that critics say disrupted reproductive health services like access to contraception in countries from Kenya to Nepal during the former president's four-year term.


Louisiana’s move to criminalize abortion pills is cruel and medically senseless

Louisiana, with one of the US’s worst maternal mortality rates, wants to make abortion medication a ‘controlled substance’

Moira Donegan
Wed 29 May 2024

This week, Louisiana moved to expand the criminalization of abortion further than any state has since before Roe v Wade was decided. On Thursday, the state legislature passed a bill that would reclassify mifepristone and misoprostol – the two drugs used in a majority of American abortions – as dangerous controlled substances.

Under both state and federal classifications, the category of controlled substances includes those medications known to cause mind-altering effects and create the potential for addictions, such as sedatives and opioids; abortion medications carry none of this potential for physical dependence, habit-forming or abuse. The move from Louisiana lawmakers runs counter to both established medical opinion and federal law.


Melinda French Gates: The Enemies of Progress Play Offense. I Want to Help Even the Match.

May 28, 2024
By Melinda French Gates

Many years ago, I received this piece of advice: “Set your own agenda, or someone else will set it for you.” I’ve carried those words with me ever since.

That’s why, next week, I will leave the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, of which I was a co-founder almost 25 years ago, to open a new chapter in my philanthropy. To begin, I am announcing $1 billion in new spending over the next two years for people and organizations working on behalf of women and families around the world, including on reproductive rights in the United States.


USA – The Unlikely Women Fighting for Abortion Rights

The end of Roe has turned women who terminated pregnancies for medical reasons into a political force.

By Kate Zernike
May 27, 2024

For a long time, many women who had abortions because of catastrophic fetal diagnoses told their stories only privately. Grieving pregnancies they dearly wanted and fearing the stigma of abortion, they sought the closely guarded comfort of online communities identified by the way many doctors had described the procedure — TFMR, or “termination for medical reasons.”

In the two years since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, their pain has been compounded into anger by new abortion bans across the country. While these women account for a fraction of abortions in the United States, they have emerged as the most powerful voices in the nation’s post-Roe debate, speaking out against bans with their stories of being forced across state lines and left to feel like criminals in seeking care.


In Morocco, Women Turn To Booming Online Abortion Pill Market

By Claire GOUNON
May 26, 2024

Asmaa was terrified at the thought of giving birth again, but with abortion largely illegal in Morocco she turned to the thriving illicit online pills market to end her pregnancy.

The 37-year-old mother of one went on Facebook after her gynaecologist told her about other women who had managed to get their hands on abortion pills through the platform.


She wanted an abortion. Her only option was driving to Mexico.

An excerpt from 'Undue Burden: Life and Death Decisions in a Post-Roe America'

May 26, 2024
Shefali Luthra

This article, an excerpt from “Undue Burden: Life and Death Decisions in a Post-Roe America,” was originally published by The 19th.

Before Roe v. Wade fell, McAllen had been home to the last abortion clinic in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, and Becky, a lifelong Texan and young college student, knew the place by sight. It was where the other girls at school used to go whenever they needed help, just by city hall, next to a church, and a short drive from an H-E-B supermarket. It was easy to find. There was a mural on the outside of brightly painted women standing in a field, holding what looked like balls of light, gazing up at the sun. The words hovered above them: “dignity.” “empowerment.”

Few places were harder hit by Roe’s fall than the Rio Grande Valley, which lies south of San Antonio and abuts the state’s border with Mexico. Even before 2021, reproductive health care in the region had been difficult to come by — and abortion, while technically available, was only barely so in practice.


USA – Antiabortion Extremists Are Playing Language Games

Abortion opponents claim that there’s never a medically necessary reason for abortion. That flies in the face of medical reality. So in states with abortion bans, they’re simply redefining abortion to make their point — and make it easier to criminalize.

May 25, 2024

Nearly two years into our post-Roe reality, the effect of state abortion bans is every bit as bad as expected.

Physicians in Louisiana report that the state’s near-total abortion ban, which went into effect in July of 2022, has resulted in pregnant patients being denied care for miscarriages, given unnecessary C-sections, and made to wait until their lives are at risk before receiving abortion care.