Twenty years after medication abortion was approved in the U.S., patients are still jumping through hoops to access it.
By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US
Twenty years ago today, the Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone, a drug used to terminate early pregnancies that held the promise of revolutionizing abortion care in the U.S.
Colloquially called the abortion pill, mifepristone is taken in combination with another drug, misoprostol, and allows patients under 10 weeks pregnant to have an abortion in the privacy of their home, instead of inside an abortion clinic. Reproductive rights activists lobbying for the drug envisioned a future where women could have the pills prescribed by their primary physician and dispensed at their local pharmacy, transforming abortion into just another part of normal health care.
Interview, 28 September 2020
Médecins Sans Frontières
The United States policy known as the Global Gag Rule has had a devastating impact on women’s access to sexual and reproductive healthcare since it was reinstated and greatly expanded by the Trump Administration more than three and a half years ago. The policy – which already forces health providers to choose between providing information to patients or receiving US funding – is now set to be expanded even further. Dr Manisha Kumar, head of Médecins Sans Frontières' (MSF) task force on safe abortion care, explains the risks facing women and girls.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2020 | NEWS
If you haven’t heard of Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng—known popularly as Dr T—you have somehow missed her ubiquitous presence on radio, TV, social media and numerous other platforms. She’s a medical doctor, sex expert and health activist. She’s a member of the South Africa Commission on Gender Equality and was recently appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. Dr. Mofokeng is also the author of A Guide to Sexual Health and Pleasure. She took time from her busy schedule to field some questions from Ipas.
Congratulations on your recent appointment as a UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health—and for being the first woman from Africa named to that post. What excites you most about this new role?
It’s time to put to rest the myth that abortion hurts women.
By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US
For decades, anti-abortion activists have argued that abortion is harmful to
women, claiming that it often leads to regret, mental health issues and dependence
on drugs and alcohol. Even former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy bought
into this reasoning, writing in 2007 that those who have abortions may
experience “severe depression” and a loss of self-esteem.
That thinking has been used to justify onerous abortion restrictions, such as
long waiting periods, that can make it harder to obtain the procedure and even
effectively bar it for some.
Aug 12, 2020
This week, Africa Science Focus takes a closer look at how women in Sub-Saharan Africa access abortions.
Malawi’s maternal mortality rate remains one of the highest in the world, with
complications from unsafe abortion estimated to account for up to 18 per cent
of maternal deaths.
“This current law now is killing people, it’s killing women, it’s killing
girls, because it’s not safe, it’s not accommodative,” a woman who was unable
to access a legal abortion tells Africa Science Focus.
Published August 5, 2020
Morenike Fajemisin is a pharmacist and multiple-award winner in sexual and reproductive health innovation. In this interview with GRACE EDEMA, she speaks on how the culture of silence and stigmatisation has contributed to the sexual and reproductive health challenges of Nigerians
How would you rate Nigerians’ awareness of sexual and reproductive health?
Nigerians’ awareness of their sexual and reproductive health and rights is very low. Young adults who lack sexual health knowledge grow to become older adults with the same problem. This cycle of silence, shame and stigma over sexual and reproductive health matters keeps repeating itself with each generation and only gets better by a small margin. We need new bolder solutions.
(1 hour podcast)
- Yamani Hernandez, executive director of the National Network of Abortion Funds.
- Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
- Kathaleen Pittman, administrator of Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport, La., the main plaintiff in June Medical v. Russo.
- Mary Ziegler, Stearns Weaver Miller professor at Florida State University College of Law specializing in the legal history of reproduction, the family, sexuality and the Constitution.
In this Episode:
In June Medical v. Russo, the Supreme Court struck down a challenge to abortion rights in Louisiana, a state in which reproductive health care access is already fraught. The law would have required all doctors performing abortions to obtain hospital admitting privileges. Even though this case has put such challenges to rest, lawmakers in Louisiana have effectively undercut women’s access to reproductive healthcare, causing clinic closures and more. As our guests make clear, Roe is not enough.
by Corinne Ahrens
In June Medical Services v. Russo, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Louisiana’s Unsafe Abortion Protection Act—a predatory law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. If left unchecked, the law had the potential to virtually eliminate abortion access across the state, leaving thousands of Louisianan-residents with no way to obtain a safe, legal abortion.
The Louisiana law argued in June Medical is identical to a Texas law struck down in the 2016 Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case, as both required a 30-mile admitting privilege requirement for physicians. Both laws purport to protect those seeking an abortion—but were actually intended to shut down clinics and deny abortion care to those who need it most.
Recently, Florida State University law professor Mary Ziegler sat down with Nursing Clio to talk about her new book, Abortion and the Law in America: Roe v. Wade to the Present. The book illustrates how the question of “abortion rights” is only one piece of the puzzle – rather both antiabortion and pro-choice advocates have spent decades in a tug-of-war over policy, funding issues, and larger questions about public health. As Ziegler carefully demonstrates, these battles actually deepened political polarization on abortion and have shaped the debate in increasingly intractable ways. Her interview with Nursing Clio editor Lauren MacIvor Thompson has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Lauren: Your book does such a wonderful job laying out the legal landscape of the complex history of abortion. What drove your narrative and organization of the book?
Nnennaya Amuchie on Defunding the Police to Fund a Reproductively Just World
Interview: Nnennaya Amuchie
June 30, 2020
Over the past few weeks, many of us have been called to take stock of the ways anti-Blackness impacts our communities, workplaces, and lives, and are thinking about how we can make changes to save the lives of Black people and end the system of policing that is killing them. The movement for Black lives is demanding systemic change for our nation and the world, and one of those calls for change is to defund the police. Some people are left unsure of what that all means and how this intersects with our work in reproductive health and rights. We spoke to reproductive justice activist, lawyer, and Black Live Matter organizer Nnennaya Amuchie about their work and what defunding the police might look like in the reproductive rights space.
ReproJobs: You’ve been an instrumental activist in the Black Lives Matter movement and reproductive justice movement, particularly working on local issues in Washington, DC like decriminalizing sex work, abortion funding, and defunding the police. Can you tell us how you came to this work and why these intersections are the core to your activism?