Texas judge’s ruling to halt mifepristone approval was contradicted by a second ruling, throwing the drug’s future into doubt
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.
If a law is blocked by a court, is it possible to break it?
By Rachel M. Cohen
Mar 20, 2023
Until very recently, nearly everyone accepted some basic ideas about the American legal system. If a state passes a law, and that law is challenged in court, we should act as if that law is still in effect while the case works its way through the court system. That changes only if a judge issues a “preliminary injunction” blocking the law while the lawsuit plays out or a “permanent injunction” to strike the law down. In that case, we all act as if the law is not in effect.
But in recent years, an aggressive wing of the anti-abortion movement has been working to challenge this broadly held idea of legality — a push that has attracted little notice, but is further complicating the debate over abortion access.
A list circulated in January by the distributor to Walgreens and CVS underscores the uncertainty surrounding abortion pills in the post-Roe era.
By Rachel M. Cohen
Updated Mar 17, 2023
Earlier this month, Politico broke news that Walgreens, the nation’s second-largest pharmacy chain, assured 21 Republican attorneys general that it would not dispense abortion pills in their states should the company be approved to dispense them. The decision was met with sharp protest by Walgreens customers, abortion rights activists, and Democrats, who accused the pharmacy of caving needlessly to pressure.
But fear of state prosecution is not the only factor shaping Walgreens’ decision-making. Another previously unreported constraint on the company is that its sole supplier of Mifeprex — the brand-name drug for the abortion pill mifepristone first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000 — circulated a list to its corporate clients in January naming 31 states that it would not supply the abortion medication to. Vox spoke with two sources who had reviewed that list recently.
In the first full legislative session after Roe v. Wade was overturned, states across the country are looking to further restrict or better protect abortion rights. ProPublica looked at what abortion legislation is on the table in 2023.
by Megan Rose
Feb. 8, 2023
For 50 years, Roe v. Wade shut down the biggest ambitions of the anti-abortion movement. Last summer, the Supreme Court overturned that decision, unleashing a flurry of abortion legislation across the nation. And anti-abortion advocates have eager partners in Republican-controlled legislatures across the country.
“It’s exciting because our hands have been untied,” Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said. “We’re going to see what we can do and do it.”
Legislation in Oklahoma and remarks from the Alabama attorney general could foreshadow new efforts to punish people who induce their own abortions.
Shefali Luthra, Health Reporter
January 13, 2023
As state lawmakers weigh new restrictions on abortion, some Republicans are revisiting a longstanding taboo of not prosecuting pregnant people for seeking abortions in places where the procedure is banned, though the topic remains divisive among anti-abortion advocates.
State restrictions have so far fallen just shy of imposing criminal penalties on people who seek abortions, instead targeting physicians, health care providers and anyone else who might help someone get an abortion.
The emerging strategy could further limit the Biden administration’s already limited policy.
By ALICE MIRANDA OLLSTEIN and LAUREN GARDNER, Politico
Fresh off winning their decades-long battle to overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion-rights opponents are pinpointing their next targets: the nation’s biggest pharmacy chains.
Anti-abortion advocates are organizing pickets outside CVS and Walgreens in early February in at least eight cities, including Washington, D.C., in response to the companies’ plans to take advantage of the Food and Drug Administration’s decision last week allowing retail pharmacies to stock and dispense abortion pills in states where they’re legal.
2023 is going to be a big year for anti-abortion policy: Anti-abortion activists could even harness a 19th-century law to curtail talking about abortion.
By Carter Sherman
December 26, 2022
If this is the year that Roe v. Wade fell, 2023 will be the year that kicks off what promises to be a years-long, state-by-state brawl between Americans who believe abortion is essential to freedom and Americans who believe the procedure is murder.
Come January, state legislatures across the country will open for business. Conservative lawmakers will try to narrow the last few avenues to abortion available in red states. Abortion rights activists, buoyed by their victories in the midterms, will push for more ballot measures. Many of these legislative and political showdowns will likely end up in the courts.
New state legislative sessions likely to bring fresh efforts to restrict, penalize or altogether ban the procedure
Tue 13 Dec 2022
In Nebraska, a total abortion ban could be on the horizon. In Florida, the gestational limit for abortions could drop from 15 weeks to 12. Elsewhere, lawmakers have abortion pills in their sights. When Roe v Wade fell, most states were no longer in legislative session, meaning the term during which they usually write and pass bills had ended. In January, state legislatures will reconvene in an entirely new reality, one where conservative lawmakers are no longer constrained by the constitutional right to abortion once assured by Roe.
We cannot lose sight of this simple truth: Abortion bans are extreme and harmful because they ban abortion, period.
by ELIZABETH NASH
If you’re following the debate around the total bans on abortion in place in states across the country, you might think what makes them extreme and harmful is whether they have certain exceptions, like those for people experiencing life-threatening pregnancy complications. Harrowing stories about people in these circumstances in Texas, Louisiana and more continue to generate huge media attention because they so clearly expose the depravity of anti-abortion policies.
But this overwhelming focus on whether bans have exceptions and whether people can get abortions in extreme situations distorts our perception of what is actually happening in states that ban abortion—which is that abortion bans are extreme and harmful because they ban abortion, period.
So you voted because of abortion? Here’s what it got you.
By Dylan Scott
Nov 9, 2022
Democrats sought to make the 2022 election a referendum on reproductive rights, and they appear to have been successful: Not only did ballot measures on abortion rights come down repeatedly on the pro-abortion rights side, but the outcomes of important state races should also provide protection for abortion access in states across the country.
In several states, a change in the balance of power within the state legislature or in the governor’s seat would have given Republicans new opportunities to pass new restrictions on abortion across the country.