OCTOBER 20, 2020
Katie realized she was pregnant during the first week of April 2020. She decided pretty quickly that she wanted to terminate the pregnancy. She already had two kids, and she’d just been diagnosed with high blood pressure. The condition was still uncontrolled, which made her pregnancy high-risk. But it was just weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. She was in full lockdown, and she wasn’t sure if she could get an abortion.
"I was Googling abortions," she tells Refinery29. "My biggest thing was not wanting to actually go to a place." Besides being afraid of catching the virus, the nearest clinic to Katie was six hours away from her home in New Mexico, and she wasn’t sure how she’d find the time to get there.
It’s hard not to read the Court’s order as a ploy to delay an abortion showdown until after the election.
By Ian Millhiser
Oct 8, 2020
The Supreme Court handed down an order Thursday night that doesn’t so much resolve a significant fight over abortion as delay a resolution — postponing it just long enough to ensure that the justices won’t need to weigh in until after the election.
The case, FDA v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, involves a dispute over whether abortion patients should have an easier time obtaining a pill used as part of a two-drug regimen to terminate a pregnancy. Mifepristone, the drug at the center of American College, causes pregnancy tissue and the lining of the uterus to break down and separate from the uterus itself. About a day or two after taking mifepristone, the patient takes a second drug, misoprostol, which causes uterine contractions and expels the uterus’s contents.
BY REPS. DIANA DEGETTE (D-COLO.), BARBARA LEE (D-CALIF.), JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D-ILL.) AND AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MASS.), OPINION CONTRIBUTORS
Over the years, there have been numerous challenges in the way the United States has approached reproductive health. We rely on our public health institutions to make decisions using the best data to get the best outcomes. Twenty years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved mifepristone, the pill for medication abortion with numerous restrictions on who could prescribe the medication, where it could be taken and where it could be dispensed.
Now, 20 years later, medication abortion care has been used by more than 4 million women and has proven to be a safe and effective option to end an early pregnancy. Mifepristone has long had the potential to transform health care access — yet, the same restrictions the FDA first placed on medication abortion needlessly remain in place to this day. This must change.
Both abortion advocates and opponents have used the COVID-19 crisis to further their policy goals.
Carrie N. Baker
Sep 21, 2020
The gendered dimensions of the political response to the COVID-19 crisis are manifesting clearly in efforts to close abortion clinics, as well as in campaigns led by doctors, lawyers, and reproductive rights advocates to expand access to telemedicine abortion during the pandemic and beyond.
Anti-abortion politicians in states across the country have used the COVID-19 pandemic to attempt to restrict abortion, arguing that abortion is not essential health care and that banning the procedure will conserve personal protective equipment for COVID-19 cases. In March and April of 2020, 12 states tried to restrict abortion, including Alaska, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia, among others. Legislators in Kentucky passed a bill to allow the state’s Attorney General to block abortion access during COVID-19, but the Kentucky governor vetoed the bill.
The Trump administration could force abortion patients to have unnecessary surgeries.
By Ian Millhiser
Sep 9, 2020
Last June, Chief Justice John Roberts provided a brief reprieve to abortion providers — joining his liberal colleagues in striking down a Louisiana anti-abortion law. But that reprieve could be very short-lived: A case now before the justices could give them a vehicle to undercut the right to terminate a pregnancy. If the Trump administration gets its way in
Food and Drug Administration v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Supreme Court could force many patients seeking abortions to undergo unnecessary surgeries, despite the fact that those patients could safely terminate their pregnancy with medication — and that’s assuming that these individuals are able to find a doctor to perform the surgery in the first place.
Alice Broster, Forbes
Sep 2, 2020
Abortions are recognized as a human right by the World Health Organisation as a person has the right to “decide freely and responsibly without coercion and violence the number, spacing and timing of their children.” However, a lot of misinformation and misconceptions are attached to abortions and future pregnancies. So, does having an abortion affect your fertility? This is such a relevant question as people seek out abortion procedures for a multitude of reasons with the intention of having a family in the future. Myths like this only attach stigma and prevent people from accessing information and treatment.
The Guttmacher Institute estimates that between 2015 and 2019 there were 121 million unintended pregnancies each year globally. Of those unintended pregnancies, 61% ended in abortion. When you’re considering having an abortion it’s totally natural that you’d think about your fertility in the long run. And the short explanation is that there’s no evidence that would suggest that either a medical or surgical abortion causes infertility when done in a safe setting.
By: Alyssa Fisher
Aug 23, 2020
Entering her 50th year at Choices Women’s Medical Center, founder Merle Hoffman has witnessed a lot. Imagine launching a reproductive health center providing abortions two years before Roe v. Wade legalized it in 1973.
But it’s the COVID-19 pandemic, she says, that has been “one of the most, most challenging times that we’ve faced, I’ve faced.”
Monday's ruling could be the first step in making medication abortion easier—and safe—to access.
Jul 15, 2020
Jessica Mason Pieklo
Medication abortion access just got a little easier and safer for patients during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s about damn time, and it should stay this way forever.
A federal judge in Maryland issued an order on Monday blocking the Trump administration from enforcing a restriction that prevents patients from accessing medication abortion without a doctor’s visit, on the grounds that it likely unduly burdens abortion rights in the middle of a pandemic.
In a victory for reproductive rights, many patients seeking medication abortion will no longer have to travel during the pandemic for care.
By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US
For the first time ever, U.S. women seeking to terminate a pregnancy using medication abortion will be able to legally obtain the pills through the mail, avoiding the need for an in-person doctor’s visit.
A federal court ruled on Monday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must suspend a rule that requires patients to visit a hospital, clinic or medical office to obtain mifepristone, a drug used to terminate pregnancies, during the coronavirus pandemic.
Conservatives could build on abortion restrictions that point to “scientific uncertainty.”
By Mary Ziegler
July 1, 2020
The Supreme Court’s recent abortion ruling shows that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. means it when he says that “the legal doctrine of stare decisis requires us, absent special circumstances, to treat like cases alike.” Casting the deciding vote Monday in June Medical Services v. Russo, he ruled against an abortion restriction that Louisiana claimed protected women against unscrupulous doctors. The state even asked the court to prevent abortion providers from suing on behalf of their patients, claiming a conflict of interest. If these arguments were new, the chief justice almost certainly would have accepted them both. The problem was that the Supreme Court had heard them before: In 2016, the justices invalidated an identical Texas law. Roberts couldn’t distinguish the two statutes enough to make a different ruling — not while respecting precedent.