USA – One Thing the Failed Attempt to Ban the Abortion Pill Did

The more anti-abortion activists attacked mifepristone, the more women flocked to use it.

JUNE 18, 2024

On Thursday, the Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit, FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, that tried to restrict access to the abortion pill mifepristone based on false allegations that the medication was dangerous. The justices ruled that the plaintiffs—anti-abortion doctors and dentists who had never prescribed mifepristone and hadn’t treated women who had used the medication—did not have legal standing to bring the case. In a moment when the high court is understood to be highly politicized, the 9–0 ruling stood out as definitive, confirming the legality of the medication nationwide.

Although some evidence indicates that the case spread disinformation about the safety of abortion pills, the suit had unintended consequences. The demonization efforts have wound up being one giant publicity campaign for a medication that, for so many years, most women didn’t even know was an option.


The Abortion Pill Underground

Since Roe was overturned, thousands of people in red states have found a way to get an abortion—often thanks to providers operating at the edge of the law.

May 7, 2024

When Kay found out she was pregnant at the end of last year, she knew three things clearly. “I was poor and I had an unwanted pregnancy and knew I couldn’t afford a standard abortion for hundreds of dollars,” she told me. A 29-year-old student already raising one child, Kay lives in Texas, where abortion is banned. The nearest clinic she could find was at least a 12-hour drive away. But Kay thought there might be another option. “I went to Google and started searching if it was possible somehow to receive abortion pills through the Internet.”

It was not only possible; it was much easier and more affordable than Kay had expected. She found online services that offered to ship the same medications that were available in clinics right to her doorstep in Texas for $150 or, if she couldn’t afford that, for free. It seemed so simple that Kay thought it might be a scam. “I was scared I would wait for the pills and they wouldn’t work when I got them,” she said.


In spite of abortion bans, self-managed abortions are safer than ever

In an increasingly restrictive landscape, self-managed medication abortions have become a critical option

By NICOLE KARLIS, Senior Writer
MAY 5, 2024

As the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in the 2022 Dobbs decision, abortion rights protesters held signs adorned with wire coat hangers. The symbol evoked memories from a pre-Roe era, when the only option to terminate an unwanted pregnancy was unsafe and potentially deadly.

As detailed by one retired gynecologist in the New York Times in 2008, the symbol of a wire coat hanger was “in no way a myth.” He recalled a period between 1948 and 1953 when women would frequently arrive in his office with a coat hanger still trapped in the cervix — and it wasn’t just coat hangers. Crochet hooks, soda bottles, and darning needles were also used in attempts to end pregnancies.


What to Know About the Latest Court Ruling on the Abortion Pill

The upshot: Don’t panic.

Aug 16, 2023

Earlier this spring, the Supreme Court hit pause on a controversial ruling in a massive anti-abortion lawsuit with the potential to eliminate nationwide access to the most common method of abortion. The case, brought by anti-abortion organizations and doctors, challenged the FDA’s two-decade-old approval of mifepristone, a pill used in medication abortion.

In April, a far-right federal district court judge in Texas had sided with the anti-abortion doctors, issuing an unprecedented order to suspend mifepristone’s approval. But before his decision could take effect, the Biden administration asked the Supreme Court to step in and pause the order while it went through appeals. The Court agreed.


U.S. Supreme Court puts temporary hold on ruling that limits access to abortion drug

The decision means that, at least for now, women can still obtain mifepristone by mail as the legal battle continues.

April 14, 2023
By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Friday temporarily blocked a court decision that prevents patients from obtaining the key abortion pill mifepristone by mail.

In a brief order issued by Justice Samuel Alito, the court put on hold in full a decision issued by Texas-based U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk that handed a sweeping victory to abortion opponents. Both the Justice Department and Danco Laboratories, which makes the brand version of mifepristone, Mifeprex, had asked the court to immediately step in.


This Trump Judge Could Effectively Ban the Abortion Pill

Matthew Kacsmaryk could revoke the FDA's approval of Mifepristone after anti-abortion groups filed a dubious lawsuit in Texas

JANUARY 18, 2023

THE ALLIANCE FOR Hippocratic Medicine does not have a robust online presence. Its website consists of a generic landing page that appeared in July, a month before the organization was legally incorporated in Amarillo, Texas. There’s no phone number, no email, no physical address, no board of directors listed. A single button, labeled “Learn more about AHM,” just reloads the page. According to records filed with the Texas Secretary of State, the group’s mailing address is located several states away, in Tennessee, but the decision to incorporate in Texas — in Amarillo, specifically — may prove critical in determining the fate of a lawsuit filed in November challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s 22-year approval of Mifepristone, a key component of the abortion pill.


The FDA’s Step Forward on Medication Abortion Isn’t Even Close to Enough

Incremental progress will not defeat conservatives’ all-out war on abortion pills.
JAN 05, 2023

On Tuesday, the FDA announced the process by which retail pharmacies could become certified to dispense mifepristone, the first drug in the medication abortion regimen. The agency’s decision filled in the details of an announcement made in December of 2021 that patients would no longer be required to go to a clinic to pick up medication abortion and that certified pharmacies would be allowed to dispense it.

This action may be a step forward, but it is far too tepid to fight back against the war that the anti-abortion movement is waging against abortion pills. Meeting this moment will require much more.


USA – Label change for mifepristone could reduce barriers to care for miscarriages, advocates say in petition to FDA

Regulations around mifepristone, a common drug used for medication abortion, make it difficult for miscarrying patients to access it. A new petition to the FDA asks for a label change to make it easier to obtain.

Jennifer Gerson
October 4, 2022

Over 40 medical and advocacy groups submitted a petition to the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) asking for miscarriage management to be added as a use
case for mifepristone, a drug commonly used in medical abortions, and ease the
restrictions around who can prescribe it.

Groups including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
(ACOG), SisterReach, Physicians for Reproductive Health and the Expanding
Medication Abortion Access (EMAA) Project were behind the petition. The changes
they asked for Tuesday would make the drug easier to access for people
experiencing miscarriages as some doctors and pharmacies have become more
reluctant to distribute it after the end of Roe v. Wade.


Mail-order abortion pills become next US reproductive rights battleground

The FDA has dropped a requirement for the abortion drug mifepristone to be picked up in person – but some Republicans states are clamping down

Adrienne Matei
Thu 7 Apr 2022

On Tuesday, Oklahoma became the latest state to pass a bill to make performing an abortion a felony, punishable, in this case, by 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. The bill is expected to be signed into law by the governor, creating an even larger group of people – about 7.7 million between Texas and Oklahoma – who will have to leave their home state if they want an abortion.

Republican legislators are passing restrictions and bans on abortion, in expectation of a supreme court decision in a crucial abortion rights case expected in June. Until then, abortion remains legal, albeit severely restricted in some cases, across the US.


UK – At-home abortion care to continue after being introduced in lockdown

Several MPs spoke passionately about their experiences of family members having to go to clinics for early abortions.

Alix Culbertson, Political reporter
Wednesday 30 March 2022

MPs have voted to allow women in England to continue to access abortion care at home after it was introduced during the pandemic.

Before the pandemic, women were required to attend a clinic in-person to access abortion pills, but during the first lockdown in March 2020 women have been able to receive the pills by post following a phone or video consultation.