USA – ‘Pushed to the margins’: Why some activists and lawmakers say abortion bans are a form of White supremacy

The threat to abortion access has underscored the economic hardships and maternal health crisis that Black and brown women face.

by Nicquel Terry Ellis, CNN
Wed May 18, 2022

The first time Kenya Martin got an abortion, she was a 19-year-old college student who felt she wasn't old enough or mature enough to raise a child.

The second time, Martin was a 26-year-old single mom making $12 an hour as a bank teller, could barely afford childcare or health insurance and was in a custody battle with her daughter's father. Martin would later have four more abortions, each time knowing she did not want another child.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/18/us/abortion-ban-women-of-color/index.html


Strickland Introduces Legislation To Protect Reproductive Health Rights Worldwide By Repealing the Harmful Helms Amendment

MARCH 11, 2021
BY CONGRESSWOMAN MARILYN STRICKLAND

In commemoration of International Women’s Day and during Women’s History Month, Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) introduced the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act with Representatives Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Norma Torres (D-CA) and over 140 original cosponsors.

This historic legislation would repeal the Helms Amendment, which attacks reproductive rights by banning the use of U.S. foreign assistance funds on abortion services overseas. Repealing the Helms Amendment is a critical step toward achieving reproductive and economic freedom and equity for millions worldwide. The Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act is supported and endorsed by a diverse coalition of more than 170 organizations.

Continued: https://thesubtimes.com/2021/03/11/strickland-introduces-legislation-to-protect-reproductive-health-rights-worldwide-by-repealing-the-harmful-helms-amendment/


20 years later, the FDA must lift restrictions on medication abortion care

BY REPS. DIANA DEGETTE (D-COLO.), BARBARA LEE (D-CALIF.), JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D-ILL.) AND AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MASS.), OPINION CONTRIBUTORS
09/28/20

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.

Continued: https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/518609-20-years-later-the-fda-must-lift-restrictions-on-medication


USA – It’s past time to be rid of the legacy of Jesse Helms

by Anu Kumar and Serra Sippel
08/07/20

You’ve likely never heard of the Helms Amendment, or perhaps not until now that Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), along with Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Barbara Lee(D-Texas), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Norma Torres (D-Calif.), have introduced legislation to repeal it. But our guess is you’ve heard of the late North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms.

In 1973, Helms, an outspoken opponent of civil rights — really, he opposed rights for anyone not white, male, heterosexual, American and Christian — introduced the Helms Amendment. The policy prohibits any U.S. foreign assistance funds from being used for “the performance of abortion as a method of family planning.” As written, the Helms Amendment allows for the provision of abortion information and counseling in cases of rape, incest and if a woman’s life is in danger. But in effect, it has been interpreted as a total ban on abortion-related services and information in developing countries.

Continued: https://thehill.com/opinion/international/511037-its-past-time-to-be-rid-of-the-legacy-of-jesse-helms


Landmark measure to repeal ‘racist,’ anti-choice Jesse Helms amendment hailed as step to a ‘more equitable world’

July 30, 2020
By Common Dreams

“Abortion care is healthcare and healthcare is a fundamental human right.”

Reproductive rights advocates on Wednesday cheered the introduction of the first-ever legislation to repeal the Helms Amendment, which has prevented millions of women across the globe from accessing safe abortion care.

Introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), the “Abortion Is Health Care Everywhere Act” would rescind the 1973 amendment that blocks U.S. foreign aid funding for abortion and would help support comprehensive reproductive healthcare for women worldwide.

Continued: https://www.rawstory.com/2020/07/landmark-measure-to-repeal-racist-anti-choice-jesse-helms-amendment-hailed-as-step-to-a-more-equitable-world/


Easy Access to Abortion Pill Vital During Pandemic, FDA Told

Easy Access to Abortion Pill Vital During Pandemic, FDA Told

June 16, 2020
Jacquie Lee

The FDA should relax restrictions on a medication used for abortion during the pandemic to prevent unnecessary travel, over 100 members of the House said Tuesday in a letter to the agency.

Under the current rules, a person who wants to use mifepristone to help terminate a pregnancy must get it directly from their health-care provider. Mifepristone—which blocks progesterone and stops a pregnancy from advancing—is typically used in combination with a second pill, misoprostol—which causes cramping and bleeding that empties the uterus—when used to terminate a pregnancy. Misoprostol is available at pharmacies with a prescription.

Continued: https://news.bloomberglaw.com/pharma-and-life-sciences/easy-access-to-abortion-pill-vital-during-pandemic-fda-told