USA – The bizarre abortion order just handed down by the Supreme Court, briefly explained

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.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/2020/10/8/21508529/supreme-court-abortion-fda-american-college


Supreme Court denies request to lift injunction on FDA abortion pill rule

OCT. 8, 2020
By Daniel Uria

Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to lift a nationwide injunction preventing the Trump administration from regulating a pill commonly used for medication abortions.

In its first action on reproductive rights since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the shorthanded court rejected the bid to remove the emergency stay against restoring regulations that require patients to see a medical provider before receiving Mifeprex.

Continued: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2020/10/08/Supreme-Court-denies-request-to-lift-injunction-on-FDA-abortion-pill-rule/9871602209120/


USA – The Supreme Court’s next abortion decision may come sooner than you think

Opinion by Rachel Rebouché
Oct. 5, 2020

A newly configured Supreme Court featuring a Justice Amy Coney Barrett need not overturn Roe v. Wade to gut abortion rights. The court stands poised to permit states and the federal government unfettered discretion to restrict abortion on the thinnest of justifications. The most immediate example is before the court now and could have repercussions for policies aimed at curbing the covid-19 pandemic.

Since approving medication abortion 20 years ago, the Food and Drug Administration has required in-person delivery of the first drug, mifepristone, that precipitates a nonsurgical abortion. In July, the federal district court in Maryland suspended the in-person requirement during the pandemic, ruling that the FDA’s restriction was unnecessary, given the safety and efficacy of medication abortion, and that it endangered patients who should otherwise minimize contact with providers.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/10/05/supreme-courts-next-abortion-decision-may-come-sooner-than-you-think/


The post-Ginsburg Supreme Court’s first abortion case

BY KATE SMITH, CBS NEWS
OCTOBER 5, 2020

In the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, millions of Americans wondered what the future of abortion access might look like. They won't wait long to find out.

Any day now, the current eight-justice Supreme Court is expected to issue its first decision on abortion access. The case, Food and Drug Administration v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, considers abortion via pill and whether patients, in the midst of a deadly pandemic, should still be required to make an in-person trip to a doctor's office in order to receive the medication.

Continued: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/supreme-court-abortion-case-ruth-bader-ginsburg/


The pandemic sparked the rise of tele-abortion. Is it here to stay?

After 20 years in the U.S., medication abortion is finally widely accessible through telehealth. But a looming Supreme Court ruling could change all that.

BY RUTH READER
10.02.2020

In April of this year, when some of Minnesota’s already few abortion clinics started to close because of the pandemic, a new organization popped up with a novel idea: It would bring abortion services to Minnesotans using a mobile clinic. Called Just The Pill, its goal was to connect the state’s most rural corners with medication abortion care, a two-pill regimen that can end a pregnancy.

In the past, it’s been hard for sexual health groups to get medication abortion to people in remote areas. The Food and Drug Administration restricts one of the medications, mifepristone, in several ways. Patients must take the pill at a clinic, for example. On top of that, states have their own rules that can further encumber access. However, the medical data overwhelmingly shows the abortion pill is safe, even to take at home alone. Health experts say politics—not data—are informing these rules.

Continued: https://www.fastcompany.com/90550536/telehealth-abortion-pill-supreme-court-ruling


USA – How Politics And Bureaucracy Halted The Promise Of The Abortion Pill

Twenty years after medication abortion was approved in the U.S., patients are still jumping through hoops to access it.

By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US
09/28/2020

Twenty years ago today, the Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone, a drug used to terminate early pregnancies that held the promise of revolutionizing abortion care in the U.S.

Colloquially called the abortion pill, mifepristone is taken in combination with another drug, misoprostol, and allows patients under 10 weeks pregnant to have an abortion in the privacy of their home, instead of inside an abortion clinic. Reproductive rights activists lobbying for the drug envisioned a future where women could have the pills prescribed by their primary physician and dispensed at their local pharmacy, transforming abortion into just another part of normal health care.

Continued: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/abortion-pill-mifepristone_n_5f720134c5b64e0666608a12?ri18n=true


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


The FDA approved the abortion pill 20 years ago. It’s time to make it available via telehealth

By USHMA D. UPADHYAY
SEPTEMBER 24, 2020

Twenty years ago this month, the Food and Drug Administration approved a medication destined to become known as the abortion pill. Mifepristone, then called RU486, was going to change everything about abortion — it would expand access and remove the stigma.

I remember devouring the news because this little pill was going to give women reproductive autonomy and let them control if and when they have children. At the time, I was just starting my Ph.D. in public health. The news inspired and exhilarated me, and I knew that the abortion pill is what I wanted to focus my career on.

Continued: https://www.statnews.com/2020/09/24/make-abortion-pill-available-via-telehealth/


USA – Abortion Regulation in the Age of COVID-19

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.
Continued: https://www.theregreview.org/2020/09/21/baker-abortion-regulation-covid-19/


Abortion by pill is becoming more widespread in America

Changes to medical technology will change the politics of the country’s original culture war

The Economist
Sep 19th 2020 edition

When women used to tell Susan Long (not her real name), a doctor in Washington state, that they wanted to terminate a pregnancy, she would refer them to an abortion clinic. Today, they need not even walk into her office: after an online consultation, she prescribes two pills, which she posts, along with instructions on how to take them several hours apart.

It is difficult to exaggerate the benefit for “innumerable” women of being able to have an abortion at home, without having to arrange a trip to a clinic, she says, describing some of them. The university student living with her conservative parents, hundreds of miles from the nearest abortion clinic. The woman whose violent husband is vehemently pro-life. Single mothers, strapped for cash and child care. Those whose frail health prevents them risking exposure to covid-19 at a doctor’s office.

Continued: https://www.economist.com/united-states/2020/09/19/abortion-by-pill-is-becoming-more-widespread-in-america