Poland – The war on women who use abortion pills takes a terrifying new turn

Researchers in Poland have developed tests that can detect if a woman has taken mifepristone. It’s a chilling development

Arwa Mahdawi
Sat 16 Sep 2023

Have you ever come across a scientific study and immediately thought to yourself: why? What was the point of this work exactly? Why were resources and brainpower devoted to figuring this particular thing out?

Normally I have this thought when a study comes out about whether, for example, Viagra can help hamsters recover from jet lag (it can!) or whether mosquitoes like electronic dance music (not really!). On this occasion, however, it was prompted by news that researchers in Poland have developed tests that can detect whether a woman has taken mifepristone and misoprostol, the drugs that are used in a medication abortion and colloquially known as abortion pills.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/sep/16/abortion-pills-week-in-patriarchy-arwa-mahdawi

Are Texas’s abortion laws being used for state-sponsored spousal harassment?

A Texas man is suing his ex-wife’s friends for helping her get an abortion – whether he wins or not, the lawsuit is sending a terrifying message to women
18 Mar 2023
Arwa Mahdawi

Meet Jonathan Mitchell. The former solicitor general of Texas is not a household name but you’ll be familiar with his work. He’s the architect of the dystopian Texas law that lets private citizens act as vigilantes and sue abortion providers or anyone who “aids or abets” the procedure. As the New York Times noted in a 2021 profile of Mitchell, he’s devoted much of the past decade to “honing a largely below-the-radar strategy of writing laws deliberately devised to make it much more difficult for the judicial system – particularly the supreme court – to thwart them.” In other words: he’s brilliant at finding sneaky ways to inflict his beliefs on everyone else. And he appears to have made it his life’s work to weaponize the law to terrorize and control women.

Mitchell’s latest project is representing a Texas man called Marcus Silva who is currently suing his ex-wife’s friends for helping her get an abortion. Silva is demanding more than $1m in damages from each of the two friends his ex-wife talked and texted with when she planned her abortion as well as the woman who provided abortion pills. He’s also planning to sue the manufacturer of the abortion pills.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/mar/18/are-texass-abortion-laws-being-used-for-state-sponsored-spousal-harassment

US anti-abortion extremists are already waging war on IVF

Republicans have made it very clear that they aren’t going to stop at abortion: they’re coming for birth control and fertility treatments

Arwa Mahdawi
Sat 24 Sep 2022

Going through fertility treatment isn’t fun at the best of times: it’s expensive, invasive and emotionally exhausting. Ever since Roe v Wade was overturned earlier this year, however, getting fertility treatments in the US has become exponentially more stressful; the end of Roe triggered a spate of new personhood bills in Republican states which define a fertilized egg or embryo as a legal human entity. If you know anything about in vitro fertilization (IVF), which I’m not sure any of the men drafting these personhood bills do, you’ll immediately know that makes IVF hugely complex. Numerous embryos are usually created during the IVF process as not all will be genetically viable. Unviable embryos, along with embryos that aren’t donated or frozen for later use, will be disposed. If these collections of cells are considered people then, according to the personhood laws, you’ve committed a crime by disposing of them.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/sep/24/republicans-ivf-abortion-week-in-patriarchy

USA – There’s nothing pro-life about exploiting a pandemic to further a political agenda

There’s nothing pro-life about exploiting a pandemic to further a political agenda
It’s already apparent a small minority of zealots will do everything they can to use the coronavirus crisis to eradicate the right to an abortion

Arwa Mahdawi
Sat 4 Apr 2020

Coronavirus is an unprecedented public health crisis. But, for some Republicans, it’s also a political opportunity: anti-abortion activists are ruthlessly using the pandemic as an excuse to crack down on reproductive rights. Six conservative states – Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas – have categorized abortions as non-essential, except in very limited cases, effectively banning access to the procedure during the pandemic.

Federal judges have stopped the bans from going into effect in most of these states. However, on Tuesday an appeals court ruled that Texas could reinstate its abortion ban. On the same day women were told that their reproductive rights were considered dispensable, Texas’s Governor Greg Abbott declared that religious services were “essential” and in-person gatherings could continue during the pandemic. This is despite the fact that there have been multiple cases of coronavirus spreading in places of worship, with people dying as a result.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/04/abortion-restrictions-coronavirus-pandemic-nothing-pro-life