USA – Inside the Secretive Network of Abortion Pill Vigilantes

Since the fall of Roe, a covert chain of activists have banded together to provide abortion medication to those in red states—and they’re risking everything in the process.

Decca Muldowney
May 23, 2023

Denny spends many of their days sitting on their bed packing small pills into plastic ziplock bags, and then into brown envelopes, ready to be mailed out to people seeking abortion medications in states like Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.

The pills are mifepristone and misoprostol—two medications that are the subject of intense political and legal debate. Every package of pills Denny mails out puts them in danger. But they won’t stop doing it.


The long and winding history of the war on abortion drugs

Along with the stethoscope and camembert cheese, mifepristone may be one of France’s greatest inventions. It’s one of two drugs taken for medical abortions, along with misoprostol, and has been making headlines in the US, where a Texas judge issued a ruling to ban it nationwide. FRANCE 24 takes a look at the history of these two drugs.


Two separate rulings filed one after another in quick succession on April 7 had US abortion providers holding their breath. The first, issued by Trump-appointed federal judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, ordered a hold on mifepristone, one of two drugs taken for medical abortions. The second, issued by Obama-appointed federal judge Thomas O. Rice, came less than an hour later. His ruling ordered the exact opposite.


European group that mails abortion pills to the U.S. says it saw enormous surge in requests this month

A Dutch physician who runs the service, Aid Access, said orders have jumped since a judge imperiled access to mifepristone.

April 20, 2023
By Chantal Da Silva

A group in Europe that prescribes abortion pills to people in the U.S. online said it has seen a surge in requests since a federal judge in Texas issued a decision imperiling future access to mifepristone.

"We have seen an enormous ... increase in requests since the ruling in Texas," said Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, a Dutch physician who runs the service called Aid Access. "People are extremely anxious."


US abortion pill ruling: what happened and what’s next?

Texas judge’s ruling to halt mifepristone approval was contradicted by a second ruling, throwing the drug’s future into doubt

Poppy Noor
Sat 8 Apr 2023

A federal judge in Texas on Friday suspended the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone, one of the two drugs commonly used to end a pregnancy, throwing the future of the drug into question.

District court judge Matthew Kacsmaryk stayed his order, a preliminary injunction, for seven days to give the FDA time to appeal. Less than an hour after the Friday ruling, another federal judge in a separate case in Washington state directly contradicted Kacsmaryk’s ruling, ordering the FDA to refrain from making any changes to the availability of mifepristone.


This doctor says bans won’t stop her from getting abortion pills to women in the U.S.

APRIL 3, 2023

AMSTERDAM —  It was nearly three decades ago, as a young medical trainee in West Africa, that Rebecca Gomperts witnessed scenes that would set in motion her life’s work. Gruesome hemorrhages, perforated wombs, bloodied young women gasping out their lives: all the aftermath of botched illegal abortions.

“The methods — oh, how invasive they were,” the 57-year-old Dutch activist-physician said, shaking her head at the memory of stricken women staggering or being carried into the hospital. “Sticks. Bleach.”


Inside the Post-Roe Scramble to Count Abortions

The end of Roe reshaped abortion access across the U.S. What does it take to track those changes?

By Rebecca Grant
March 22, 2023

On May 2, 2022 at 8:32 p.m., when Politico published a leaked draft of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Jennifer Pepper was standing on Main Street in Disney World. Pepper is president and CEO of the Choices Center for Reproductive Health, a reproductive health clinic in Memphis, Tennessee, that began providing abortion care in 1974. She had traveled to Orlando to give a presentation at a conference and visited Disney World that evening to watch the fireworks. The air was warm and humid, the sun had just set, and Pepper was staring at Cinderella’s Castle when her phone erupted with messages and alerts.

“I remember kneeling down and feeling like I’d been gut punched,” Pepper said. “We knew it was going to happen, but seeing those words in black and white shattered any little bit of hope that maybe we had gotten it wrong.”


Three Texas women are sued for wrongful death after allegedly helping friend obtain abortion medication

In the first lawsuit of its kind since Roe v. Wade was overturned, a husband seeks damages from women who allegedly helped his ex-wife obtain the medications to terminate her pregnancy.

MARCH 10, 2023

A Texas man is suing three women under the wrongful death statute, alleging that they assisted his ex-wife in terminating her pregnancy, the first such case brought since the state’s near-total ban on abortion last summer.

Marcus Silva is represented by Jonathan Mitchell, the former Texas solicitor general and architect of the state’s prohibition on abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, and state Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park. The lawsuit is filed in state court in Galveston County, where Silva lives.


USA – Why accurate data on abortions matters — and why it’s so hard to collect

Jasmine Mithani
February 27, 2023

Collecting abortion data has always been difficult: People are often unwilling to share their experiences with researchers, and the United States has no centralized count of abortions performed. Every state collects data differently, and some refuse to share it with federal researchers due to privacy concerns. Sometimes researchers have to estimate abortion incidence based on historical trends because up-to-date data isn’t available.

It’s a challenge with broad implications for information on reproductive health, one that has been compounded by the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which allowed states to ban abortion. Less accurate abortion data means less information to share with policymakers about the impacts of restrictions — but also spills over into many areas of public health.


USA – The Underground Abortion Pill Network Is Booming

At least 20,000 abortion pills are estimated to have been shipped across the U.S. in the six months since Roe v. Wade was overturned.

By Carter Sherman
February 23, 2023

At least 20,000 packets of abortion pills were shipped to people in the United States in the six months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, two sources with knowledge of the situation told VICE News.

The suppliers of these estimated 20,000 packets are neither abortion clinics nor abortion telehealth organizations, but instead operate outside of the U.S. legal health care system. The demand for their pills, as well as their success at shipping them out undetected, are evidence of the thriving underground abortion network that has sprung up since Roe’s demise devastated access to abortion clinics.


A Trump Judge Could Ban Abortion Pills In the US Within Days

One of the most common and safe abortion drugscould be banned nationwide this week—regardless of a state’s abortion restrictions.

By Carter Sherman
February 21, 2023

One of the most common and safe abortion drugs could be banned nationwide as soon as Friday, thanks to a lawsuit that could impact every state in the country—regardless of that state’s abortion restrictions.

Abortion rights supporters and foes alike are bracing for a ruling in a lawsuit, filed late last year, that accused the Food and Drug Administration of overstepping its authority when it approved the use of the drug mifepristone for abortions. Although the lawsuit was initially regarded as something of a longshot legal oddity among abortion rights activists, that attitude quickly changed once people realized that the suit was sure to be overseen by Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump and is widely known for his conservative views on abortion.