The Latest Attack on the Abortion Pill Is Forty Years in the Making

If a Texas lawsuit prevails, mifepristone will no longer be available anywhere in the nation, even in states where abortion is legal.

By Sue Halpern, The New Yorker
March 9, 2023

In 1987, Ms. magazine asked me to write about RU-486, a new medication that caused the uterus to expel a fertilized egg before it could gestate. It wasn’t a contraceptive, but it wasn’t what most people considered an abortion, either. At the time, anti-abortion campaigners were brandishing ultrasound images that purported to show fetuses crying out in pain as they were being surgically removed. RU-486, which was developed in France but not yet available in the United States, threatened to stymie this tactic: there would be no fetal development to flaunt. Even the president of the National Right to Life Committee acknowledged that there was little P.R. value in images of what appeared to be menstruating women. This disarming of the pro-life movement, and the drug’s seemingly benign effect, I wrote, “may serve to decimate the ranks of abortion foes.” Étienne-Émile Baulieu, the primary developer of RU-486, which is better known as mifepristone, was even more hopeful. With this drug, he declared, abortion “should more or less disappear as a concept, as a fact, as a word in the future.”


U.S. groups suing to ban abortion pill lose bid for early trial

February 21, 2023
By Brendan Pierson

(Reuters) - A Texas federal judge on Tuesday refused to set an accelerated trial schedule for a lawsuit by anti-abortion groups seeking to end U.S. sales of the abortion pill mifepristone, in a case that could severely disrupt access to medication abortion nationwide.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Amarillo rejected the groups' request to skip a hearing on whether to halt sales of the pill temporarily until the case is fully heard and instead go straight to trial. The Biden administration had opposed the request.


Reversing abortion drug’s approval would harm public interest, U.S. FDA says

By Brendan Pierson
Jan 17, 2023

(Reuters) - President Joe Biden's administration is urging a judge to reject a request by abortion opponents for a court order withdrawing federal approval for the drug used in medication abortions - which account for more than half of U.S. abortions - citing potential dangers to women seeking to end their pregnancies.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's filing to U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, made available online on Tuesday, came in a lawsuit in Texas by anti-abortion groups challenging the agency's approval of the drug mifepristone in 2000 for medication abortion.


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

January 17, 2023

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.


As millions were stripped of abortion rights, mainstream outlets uplifted these five anti-choice leaders behind Roe’s reversal

PUBLISHED 01/09/23

2022 marked an unprecedented assault on abortion rights, as the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June and multiple states quickly moved to restrict or outright ban abortion and other reproductive care. While millions of Americans navigated under these new harsh abortion restrictions, the largest newsrooms in the country gave their platforms to the leading figures behind the effort to reverse Roe and demonize abortion care.

Marjorie Dannenfelser (Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America)
As the president of anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, Marjorie Dannenfelser has been key in backing anti-choice political candidates and supporting the passage of legal restrictions against reproductive rights. Late last year, for example, Dannenfelser stood alongside Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) when he introduced legislation to implement a 15-week national abortion ban.


Bleeding and in pain, she couldn’t get 2 Louisiana ERs to answer: Is it a miscarriage?

December 29, 2022
7-Minute Listen with transcript

BATON ROUGE, La. – When Kaitlyn Joshua found out she was pregnant in mid-August, she and her husband, Landon Joshua, were excited to have a second baby on the way. They have a 4-year-old daughter, and thought that was just the right age to help out with a younger sibling.

At about six weeks pregnant, Joshua, 30, called a physicians' group in Baton Rouge. She wanted to make her first prenatal appointment there for around the eight-week mark, as she had in her first pregnancy. But Joshua says the woman on the line told her she was going to have to wait over a month.


Maternal and infant death rates are higher in states that ban or restrict abortion, report says

By Jacqueline Howard, CNN
Wed December 14, 2022

The rates of mothers and newborn babies dying during pregnancy, at birth or postpartum are much higher in states that currently ban or restrict abortions than in states preserving access, according to a new report.

The researchers analyzed data on deaths and other health outcomes using the most recent data available – from 2020 and earlier – and compared rates based on states’ current abortion access policies, as of November, after the Supreme Court decision this summer that overturned Roe v. Wade.

USA – Don’t Report Your Abortion Patients to Law Enforcement

— Self-managed abortion does not legally need to be reported

by Jamila Perritt, MD, MPH, and Jill E. Adams, JD
November 5, 2022

State-based abortion bans throughout the country have been choking off access to abortion care, including clinic-based and telehealth care. While these laws are designed to directly target abortion providers with civil and criminal penalties, they also indirectly increase the likelihood that other people may fall prey to the criminal legal system, particularly those who self-manage their abortion and those who support them. Although only two states have laws prohibiting self-managed abortion, politically and ideologically motivated police and prosecutors in other states are more than willing to warp existing laws and misapply them in order to punish people seeking to manage their own care. As a result, more people will be unjustly interrogated, arrested, and prosecuted for allegedly ending their own pregnancies.


After Dobbs, U.S. medical students head abroad for abortion training no longer provided by their schools

By Olivia Goldhill
Oct. 18, 2022

A fourth-year medical student, Tema, faced an abrupt interruption to her education earlier this year. A state law banning abortion after six weeks went into effect hours after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and two days later, the clinic where her school provided first-hand abortion experience shut down.

“I’d do my patients a great disservice if I’m not trained in abortion,” said Tema, who is planning to become a family planning doctor, and asked that she be identified only by her first name for fear of repercussions by her medical school. “I’m going into a career where I care about reproductive health, I need to understand all aspects of it.” Without help from the school, Tema had to find an alternative herself, and will travel abroad next month to observe abortions being performed in a clinic in London.


Desperate pleas and smuggled pills: A covert abortion network rises after Roe

Amid legal and medical risks, a growing army of activists is funneling pills from Mexico into states that have banned abortion

By Caroline Kitchener
October 18, 2022

Monica had never used Reddit before. But sitting at her desk one afternoon in July — at least 10 weeks into an unwanted pregnancy in a state that had banned abortion — she didn’t know where else to turn.

“I need advice I am not prepared to have a child,” the 25-year-old wrote from her office, once everyone else had left for the day. She titled her post, “PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!”