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 – The New Autonomy of Abortion

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion freedom now hinges on access to pills.

MAY 23, 2024

When 18-year-old Rachel discovered she was unexpectedly pregnant, she made what she thought was a natural first step: call Planned Parenthood to schedule an abortion. “I wasn’t ready to be a parent or a mom,” she says. “And I didn’t want to go through giving birth just to give the kid away.” Even in an abortion-friendly state like Illinois, the nearest Planned Parenthood was one hour away, and there wasn’t an available appointment for another month.

When Rachel consulted ob-gyns, they either told her they wouldn’t provide an abortion or declined to provide recommendations. And since her insurance doesn’t cover abortion care, she’d have to pay the expensive fee out of pocket. “I just wanted it to be over with,” she says.


The Abortion Pill Underground

Since Roe was overturned, thousands of people in red states have found a way to get an abortion—often thanks to providers operating at the edge of the law.

May 7, 2024

When Kay found out she was pregnant at the end of last year, she knew three things clearly. “I was poor and I had an unwanted pregnancy and knew I couldn’t afford a standard abortion for hundreds of dollars,” she told me. A 29-year-old student already raising one child, Kay lives in Texas, where abortion is banned. The nearest clinic she could find was at least a 12-hour drive away. But Kay thought there might be another option. “I went to Google and started searching if it was possible somehow to receive abortion pills through the Internet.”

It was not only possible; it was much easier and more affordable than Kay had expected. She found online services that offered to ship the same medications that were available in clinics right to her doorstep in Texas for $150 or, if she couldn’t afford that, for free. It seemed so simple that Kay thought it might be a scam. “I was scared I would wait for the pills and they wouldn’t work when I got them,” she said.


A Moral Justification for Civil Disobedience to Abortion Bans

Fighting for better laws and challenging bad laws are critical parts of the fight for the freedom and dignity of women and pregnant people—but so is the underground abortion pill movement, which enacts that freedom and dignity directly

May 6, 2024
CARRIE N. BAKER, Ms. Magazine

Over the last several years, in response to abortion bans and restrictions, advocates around the country have developed an alternative supply network for abortion pills outside of the medical system and the law. As a lawyer and law-abiding citizen, I recommend people follow the law. If they don’t like a law, I recommend challenging it, either in the courts or legislatures. But when voter suppression and gerrymandering have skewed the political system in a way that has led to laws that do not represent the majority nor protect vulnerable groups from harm, civil disobedience may be the morally right and just thing to do.


Bodily autonomy: Australian women still face obstacles when seeking abortion services

6 May 2024

In July last year, following a Senate inquiry into universal access to reproductive healthcare, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) removed restrictions on prescribing and dispensing the medical abortion pill MS-2 Step (mifepristone and misoprostol).

As a result, medical practitioners are no longer required to complete mandatory training and registration to provide this service. The lifting of restrictions means “MS-2 Step can now be prescribed by any healthcare practitioner with appropriate qualifications and training, without the need for certification”.


Reproductive rights elusive 1 year after Japan’s approval of abortion pill

April 20, 2024
By Chermaine Lee

OSAKA, JAPAN — Wider access to abortion in Japan has largely remained elusive a year after the historic approval of medical abortion pills.

In April last year, lawmakers approved the use of the two-step abortion pill — MeFeego Pack — for pregnancies up to nine weeks. Before that, women in the East Asian nation could only receive a surgical abortion in private clinics by designated surgeons that often charge as much as $370.

Financial strain aside, women were often required to provide proof of spousal consent to receive an abortion, making it nearly impossible for them to make the decision on their own. Reports showed that even for single women, doctors still asked for permission of a male partner before agreeing to perform such surgeries.


USA – Alone in a bathroom:

The fear and uncertainty of a post-Roe medication abortion

By Caroline Kitchener
April 11, 2024

Angel tucked two white pills into each side of her mouth, bracing herself as they began to dissolve. Her deepest fears and anxieties took over.

Angel had wanted to talk to a doctor before she took the pills to end her pregnancy, worried about how they might interact with medication she took for her heart condition. But in her home state of Oklahoma, where almost all abortions are banned, that wasn’t an option.


An 1873 law banned the mailing of boxing photos. Could it block abortion pills, too?

APRIL 5, 2024 

WASHINGTON — An anti-obscenity law enacted in 1873 that hasn’t been enforced in decades shot to the forefront of the nation’s abortion debate in the past week thanks to two U.S. Supreme Court justices, amid expectations a future Republican president would use the law to order a nationwide ban on medication abortion.

The Comstock Act, which prohibited the mailing of anatomy textbooks and boxing photographs as well as contraceptives, drew fresh attention after Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas during March 26 oral arguments seemed to suggest the law would block the mailing of mifepristone.


‘In 24 Hours, You’ll Have Your Pills’: American Women Are Traveling to Mexico for Abortions

Since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, more women have been crossing the border to Mexico for abortion medications and procedures.

APR 3, 2024

At 6 pm, after a long day at work and with her children out of the house, Tania (not her real name) takes four pills and waits for them to melt under her tongue. Six hours later, the pills having dissolved and dispersed through her body, she begins to expel blood clots that she doesn’t look at. She bleeds, but she was told that this could be normal; her belly is in great pain, but she was also told that this would be normal. She cries in the darkness of her room in San Diego. She is afraid to be alone.

The pills that Tania took traveled amid the more than 90,000 people who cross the border every day between Tijuana, in Mexico, and San Diego. At the world’s busiest border crossing, the lines can stretch for blocks. People pass by hostile immigration officers searching for “illegals” among the thousands making the journey. Hidden in a suitcase are boxes of mifepristone and misoprostol, two abortifacients used in conjunction with one another. When Tania took them, she put them under her tongue to speed up the effect, as she was instructed. Mifepristone stops the production of progesterone, while misoprostol, which was originally indicated to treat ulcers, causes contractions and bleeding similar to a miscarriage.


USA – How the abortion pill case at the supreme court could undo the FDA

The medical industry watches with trepidation as mifepristone case could have huge consequences for drug regulation

Jessica Glenza in New York
Mon 25 Mar 2024

A supreme court case about one little pill – mifepristone – has the medical and pharmaceutical world on edge. … Despite a more than 20-year track record of safe real-world use, backed up by more than 100 peer-reviewed studies, a group of anti-abortion doctors is seeking to roll back US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decisions that changed and relaxed some prescribing rules.

If the doctors succeed, despite contested and in some cases now-retracted evidence of harm, the case could reshape abortion access in the US and have enormous and unpredictable consequences for how drugs are prescribed, regulated and developed.