USA – With telehealth abortion, doctors have to learn to trust and empower patients

January 17, 2023
MARA GORDON

Like many pandemic-era remote workers, Robin Tucker starts her work day sitting on her sofa with a laptop, wearing soft pants and a T-shirt. But the Washington, DC-area nurse practitioner and midwife doesn't have a typical work-from-home job. She provides abortions over the Internet, a service that has only become available in the United States in the last few years.

Her career, she says, has turned out to be very different from what she learned in midwifery school, where she'd spend long shifts in a high-intensity labor and delivery unit, helping patients give birth.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/01/17/1140778856/with-telehealth-abortion-doctors-have-to-learn-to-trust-and-empower-patients


USA – The Inevitable Prosecutions of Women Who Obtain Abortions

The attorney general of Alabama finally went where the logic of the anti-abortion movement has long pointed.

BY DAVID DAYEN
JANUARY 16, 2023

Back when Donald Trump was just a presidential candidate, he was asked by Chris Matthews if he thought abortions should be dealt with under the law, like any other crime. He replied, “There has to be some form of punishment,” specifically saying he meant that the women who obtained abortions should be punished. After his handlers realized what he’d said, he quickly reversed himself, saying that if abortion were banned through the courts or legislation, the punishment should be reserved for “the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman.”

Some Republicans still draw the line there, reserving any legal action over abortions to those who conduct them. …  But this don’t-punish-the-woman line is no longer unapproachable.

Continued: https://prospect.org/health/2023-01-16-prosecution-women-mifepristone-abortion-alabama/


USA – The new front in the right’s war on abortion

Abortion pills are at the heart of the fight over abortion access in a post-Roe world.

By Rachel M. Cohen
Jan 9, 2023

The Biden administration helped expand access to medication abortion last week, with the US Food and Drug Administration finalizing a rule to make the pills more readily available in pharmacies. But this effort to help patients get pills to end a pregnancy could be dwarfed by a major push to restrict access to the medication from anti-abortion leaders and their Republican allies.

As lawmakers head back to state legislatures this month, many for the first time since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, Republicans face new pressure to restrict access to the combination of abortion-inducing drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, used typically within the first 10 to 12 weeks of a pregnancy. Medication abortion has become the most common method for ending pregnancies in the United States, partly due to its safety record, its lower cost, diminished access to in-person care, and greater opportunities for privacy.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2023/1/9/23540562/abortion-pills-medication-dobbs-roe-mifepristone


TEXAS LAWMAKERS PLAN TO FURTHER DECIMATE ABORTION RIGHTS IN UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE SESSION

All Texas clinics have halted abortion care, but the anti-abortion movement says its work isn’t over.

Mary Tuma
December 26 2022

MONTHS BEFORE THE U.S. Supreme Court eviscerated nearly 50 years of abortion rights by overturning Roe v. Wade, Texans were already living in a grim post-Roe world. Senate Bill 8 — in effect since September 2021 due to the Supreme Court’s refusal to block the measure — barred abortion care once embryonic cardiac activity is detected, typically at six weeks of pregnancy. Then considered the most restrictive abortion law in the country, SB 8 halted the overwhelming majority of care in the nation’s second most populous state. The draconian law carried no exception for rape, incest, or severe fetal abnormality.

Next came the high court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which struck the final blow to abortion rights in Texas by allowing a full “trigger” ban to take effect. Performing an abortion in Texas is now a felony punishable by up to life in prison. Adding to the reproductive health crisis, state officials sought to push criminal enforcement of a 1925 pre-Roe ban. Today, all 23 abortion clinics in Texas have stopped providing abortion care at any stage, the most of any state in the nation.

Continued: https://theintercept.com/2022/12/26/texas-abortion-legislative-session/


Activists Are Trying to Ban Abortion Pills in Blue States, Forcing Patients to Face Protesters

"If the New York clinics are backed up and you need an abortion, you’re not going to feel like you have access," a law professor told Jezebel.

By Susan Rinkunas
Dec 12, 2022

People in blue states might recognize the threat of Congress passing a nationwide abortion ban under a Republican president in, say, 2025—but two recent under-the-radar actions on abortion pills underscore that no zipcode is safe from Republicans post-Roe v. Wade.

In November, anti-abortion activists filed a lawsuit asking the federal courts to revoke the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone, the first drug used in a medication abortion. Days later, a different group filed a citizen petition with the FDA in which it weaponized environmental regulations to argue that patients need to bag up the products of conception and return them to abortion providers to dispose of as medical waste.

Continued: https://jezebel.com/activists-are-trying-to-ban-abortion-pills-in-blue-stat-1849883923  


‘We’re doubling down’: how abortion advocates are building on midterm wins

Pro-choice activists are focusing on expanding abortion access, voter registration and education, and shield laws for providers

Melody Schreiber
Wed 7 Dec 2022

Renee Bracey Sherman answers the phone and apologizes – is it OK if we speak while she drives? Like many abortion advocates, she tends to keep a packed schedule and talk at lightning speed – the next initiative, the next law, the next policy on the horizon. Ask advocates how they felt in June after the Dobbs decision sharply curtailed reproductive rights across the US, or in November after wins in the midterm elections signaled strong public support for abortion, and they’ll answer immediately: We knew this was coming; but the fight’s not over.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/dec/07/abortion-supporters-building-midterm-wins


USA – For-Profit Abortion Telemedicine Start-Ups Are Proliferating in Wake of “Roe”

Garnet Henderson, Truthout
November 26, 2022

In 2020, a federal judge ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must suspend its requirement that patients pick up mifepristone, one of the pills used in medication abortion, in person. After some back-and-forth under the Trump administration, the FDA permanently repealed the rule, which had long been decried by medical experts as unnecessary, in 2021.

This opened the door for providers to send abortion pills by mail in all but the 19 states that outlaw provision of abortion via telemedicine. (Many of those same states now ban abortion entirely.) This regulation change, along with increased popular interest in abortion access following Roe’s overturn, has led to a proliferation of telemedicine companies offering abortion pills. Some of these companies are run by people with prior experience in abortion care and connections in the reproductive health, rights and justice movements; others are not. Regardless, some abortion access advocates are raising concerns about whether the rise of for-profit telemedicine companies is the best way to serve abortion seekers.

Continued: https://truthout.org/articles/for-profit-abortion-telemedicine-start-ups-are-proliferating-in-the-wake-of-roe/


‘Necessary to Disobey Harmful Laws’: These ‘Abortion Pirates’ Want Equal Access to Abortion Pills Worldwide

A colorful crowd of doctors, researchers and women’s activists convened in the Latvian capital to explore ways to use pills to circumvent anti-abortion laws.

By EMILY SCHULTHEIS
11/26/2022

RIGA, Latvia — For two sunny, crisp autumn days in mid-September, Riga’s Stradiņš University felt like the epicenter of a self-styled global civil rights movement: to give every person, in every culture or country, regardless of laws, access to abortion pills.

In the hallways, women pored over posters showing the latest research on the effectiveness of abortion pills and other developments in abortion and contraception care. Representatives from pharmaceutical companies enthusiastically pitched their medications and products to doctors sipping coffee and tea during a break between panels. There were graphic novels about an at-home medical abortion and T-shirts printed with women’s self-stated reasons for ending a pregnancy; there were slogans printed on T-shirts like “Make Abortion Legal Again” and a video promoting abortion rights to the tune of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/11/26/global-abortion-rights-movement-latvia-00069224


USA – Why Is Spotify Blocking Ads for Abortion Pills?

One organization, Mayday Health, has slammed the company for "hypocrisy" as it platforms abusers and right-wing peddlers of disinformation.

By Kylie Cheung
Nov 21, 2022

Since September, Mayday Health—a nonprofit that shares information about accessing FDA-approved medication abortion pills—has been unable to get ads placed on Spotify. “Did you know you can still get an abortion in all 50 states? Abortion pills are available through the mail,” the ad says. “They’re safe, effective, and FDA-approved. Visit mayday.health to learn more. Mayday.health is responsible for the content of this PSA.”

A representative for Spotify originally told the organization that ads mentioning “abortion products and services, abortion providers and pregnancy counseling” are prohibited. But in October, the company told Bloomberg the representative had misspoken: Ads about a whole range of health services, from pharmaceuticals and dentists to contraceptives, are restricted except “in a limited capacity with certain limitations,” and not just abortion-related ads, the company clarified.

Continued: https://jezebel.com/why-is-spotify-blocking-ads-for-abortion-pills-1849809524


American Women Turn to Cheap Abortion Pills From India Post Roe

Mail order businesses in India are shipping the pills to women in the US

By Bruce Einhorn and Dhwani Pandya
November 3, 2022

Angry over the US Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade in June, Deborah Willoughby wanted to do more than attend a rally or make a donation. So she sat down at her computer and placed an order for a pack of abortion pills from India sold under the brand name Unwanted.

India has many online pharmacies offering to sell mifepristone and misoprostol, drugs commonly used to terminate pregnancies — no questions asked and no prescription required. Plan C, an American group that provides information on how to obtain at-home abortion medication, needed volunteers to test online suppliers’ delivery claims. Willoughby signed up and placed an order via Secureabortionpills.com, which describes itself as an online international pharmacy selling generic drugs.

Continued: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-11-03/roe-v-wade-us-women-turn-to-cheap-abortion-pills-from-india