US abortion pill access in doubt after Texas judge suspends approval

Ruling on mifepristone, widely used for medical abortions, sets up legal showdown as Washington state issues conflicting order

Poppy Noor and agencies
Sat 8 Apr 2023

A federal judge in Texas on Friday suspended US approval of the abortion medication mifepristone, one of the two drugs commonly used for medication abortions, in a closely watched case brought by anti-abortion activists.

But shortly after, a conflicting ruling came out of Washington state, ordering the Food and Drug Administration to refrain from taking any action that would affect the pill’s availability. The two rulings throw the future of the drug into question, increasing the chances that the supreme court will ultimately decide its fate.


USA – Abortion Clinics Prepare for More Chaos With End of FDA-Approved Pill

Medication abortion is the most popular way to end a pregnancy in the US

By Ella Ceron
February 15, 2023

The most popular abortion method in the US could vanish from the market, leaving providers scrambling to find alternatives after the end of Roe v. Wade.

A Texas judge is expected to rule soon on a case seeking to remove the Food and Drug Administration’s decades-old approval of mifepristone, one of two pills commonly used together to terminate a pregnancy. The anti-abortion group behind the suit is arguing the FDA fast-tracked the drug’s authorization and lacked sufficient evidence to make its final decision.


France a step closer to adding abortion rights to constitution

Issued on: 02/02/2023
Text by: RFI

The French Senate has voted to include the right to abortion in the constitution, allowing the process to continue, though the path to a constitutional amendment is long.

After much debate, the Senate voted on Wednesday in favour of including the right to abortion in the constitution. With 166 votes for and 152 against, the chamber approved a bill introduced by lawmakers in the National Assembly from the hard-left France Unbowed, with support from the presidential majority.


House of Lords backs buffer zones for abortion clinics in England and Wales

The proposal now has one last step to go through before becoming law

1 FEB 2023

'Buffer zones' around abortion clinics in England and Wales are closer to becoming a reality following overwhelming support from the House of Lords in a debate, which took place on 30 January. The proposed legislation now has one last step to go before being passed – final approval from the House of Commons.

The proposed provision for buffer zones is an amendment to the Public Order Bill, which was added by Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy.


The Public, Including Women of Childbearing Age, Are Largely Confused About the Legality of Medication Abortion and Emergency Contraceptives in Their States

Feb 1, 2023
Even in States Where Abortion is Legal, Many are Uncertain about Legality of Medication Abortion

More than six months since the Supreme Court issued their Dobbs decision which overturned Roe v. Wade, there is widespread public confusion about the medication abortion pill and whether it is legal at the state level, according to the latest KFF Health Tracking Poll. The poll also finds many are unsure about the legality of emergency contraceptive pills, sometimes called morning after pills or “Plan B,” and whether the pills can end a pregnancy.

Across the country at least four in ten U.S. adults say they are “not sure” whether mifepristone, the medication abortion drug, is legal where they live. Half of women (49%) are “unsure” about whether medication abortion is legal in the state they live in, including 41% of women ages 18-49.


Abortion—The Real Irish Lessons

Road to Repeal: 50 Years of Struggle in Ireland for Contraception and Abortion (new book)

by Tomás Mac Sheoin
Feb 01, 2023

In August 2022, Fintan O’Toole, a journalist with the Irish Times, published an article in the New York Review of Books giving his interpretation of the lessons to be learned from the Irish experience with abortion. O’Toole first outlined the history: in 1981, right-wing groups, buttressed by American support—including financial support—formed the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign, which persuaded the Irish government to propose a referendum to include a ban on abortion in the Irish Constitution. The ban was passed in 1983, becoming the constitution’s eighth amendment.

O’Toole outlines three problems with legal bans on abortion. First, they simply do not stop abortions: in 1985, 3,888 women traveled from Ireland to England to terminate their pregnancies; in 2001, that number was 6,673.


Muslim-American opinions on abortion are complex. What does Islam actually say?

February 1, 2023

After the U.S. Supreme Court's decision that ended the constitutional right to abortion, Zahra Ayubi started to notice a theme among some critics of the historic shift.

"They'll draw analogies between abortion bans in the United States and Muslim conservatism," Ayubi, a professor of Islamic Ethics at Dartmouth College, said of some of the commentary she saw on TV and on social media. Critiques ranged from attempts at humor to outright Islamophobia.


USA – This activist’s life shows abortion access is not just a ‘white woman’s movement’

Marie Leaner was one of the few Black members of a covert abortion network active in Chicago in the 1960s and 1970s. On the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, she tells her story.

By Candace McDuffie
Tuesday, Jan. 31

In the late 1960s, Marie Leaner made a tough choice, one criticized by even her mother: to join a group known as the Jane Collective, a covert abortion network that helped women secure services on the South Side of Chicago in the late 1960s.

Born and raised in the Washington Park neighborhood, Leaner was one of the few Black members of the group, which used code names and various fronts — including Leaner’s own home — to provide safe abortions.


FBI investigating growing attacks on abortion and reproductive health clinics

Christine Fernando, USA TODAY
Jan 30, 2023

The FBI is asking for the public's help in investigating a spate of unsolved attacks against reproductive health facilities nationwide after an Illinois man was charged Wednesday with setting fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic.

Tyler W. Massengill, 32, of Chillicothe, just north of Peoria in central Illinois, was arrested Tuesday after being accused of “malicious use of fire and an explosive to damage, and attempt to damage" the Peoria clinic, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.


Are Blue States Ready To Relax Their Bans On Later Abortions?

By Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux
JAN. 30, 2023

You hear people say the term “third rail” all the time in politics, usually in reference to an issue that is too volatile — too charged — to touch. For decades, abortion later in pregnancy has been one of those issues. As recently as four years ago, a proposal to loosen restrictions on third-trimester abortions went down in flames in Virginia after Republicans accused Democratic lawmakers of advocating for infanticide — an attack that was misleading but effective.

But the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade, has changed the current running through the abortion debate. And now Democratic legislators may have new opportunities to try and expand abortion rights — including abortions in the late second and early third trimester of pregnancy.