USA – Why Smashing the Administrative State Is a Disaster for Reproductive Rights

The latest Supreme Court rulings are already being weaponized against gender identity. Abortion and birth control are next.

NINA MARTIN, Mother Jones
July 10, 2024

It turns out the most consequential reproductive rights case before the Supreme Court this past term—arguably, the most significant since the overturn of Roe v. Wade—wasn’t the religious right’s attack on the abortion drug mifepristone, or the battle over whether the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act requires hospitals to provide emergency abortions in states with strict bans. It was a fight over who should pay to monitor commercial fishing boats so they don’t deplete the herring population off the Atlantic coast.

Reproductive health and gender equality advocates are just beginning to digest the sweeping implications of the ruling in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce, in which the court’s conservative supermajority overturned a 40-year-old cornerstone of US administrative law known as “Chevron deference.” In doing so, the justices vastly limited the power of federal agencies to issue regulations on everything from financial markets to industrial pollution to drug pricing to workplace safety.

And abortion. And birth control. And trans equality. And pregnant workers’ rights. 


USA – Abortion is becoming more common in primary care clinics as doctors challenge stigma

NPR, By Selena Simmons-Duffin, Elissa Nadworny
June 21, 2024

It’s a typical Tuesday at Seven Hills Family Medicine in Richmond, Va. The team — which consists of Dr. Stephanie Arnold, registered nurse Caci Young and several medical assistants — huddles to prepare for the day.

Arnold, a primary care physician, runs through the schedule. The 9 a.m. telemed appointment is for chronic condition management. At 10 a.m. there’s a diabetes follow-up. The 11 a.m. appointment is to go over lab results for potential sleep apnea, then there are appointments for knee pain and one for ADHD results review. The schedulers fit in a walk-in patient who has a suspected yeast infection.


How American Women Could Lose the Right to Birth Control

MAY 20, 2024

When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 1965 ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut and legalized the use of contraception by married women, the public response was muted. There is little evidence of an uproar on the pages of major newspapers or magazines. Even bringing the case was a challenge for reproductive-rights activists, who had tried and failed twice before to challenge Connecticut’s anti-obscenity law, which (fun fact) was introduced by P. T. Barnum in 1879 and (less fun) banned “any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception.” By the 1960s, laws criminalizing contraception often went unenforced, which posed a problem for activists looking to challenge them. Without contraception-seeking patients who had actually been arrested, the Supreme Court said, there was no one with the standing to sue.


Why abortion is on the ballot everywhere

Opinion by Mary Ziegler
Sun May 12, 2024

The 2024 election has prompted an avalanche of stories about the places where abortion is on the ballot. Usually, these stories zero in on the states that are likely to have reproductive rights propositions on the ballot in November (such a ballot initiative is already going forward in two states, Florida and Maryland, and additional measures could be on the ballot in ten other states by the fall).

Ballot initiatives are certainly important. In states with gerrymandered legislatures and limited partisan competition, such measures allow voters to set abortion policy directly.


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.


The Six-Week Abortion Ban in Florida Is Only the Beginning

The history of these bans suggests they’re far from the anti-abortion movement’s endgame.

MAY 01, 2024

Florida has long been a destination state for abortion-seekers in a region defined by sweeping criminal bans. And, despite being under Republican control, Florida had long been a place with one of the highest abortion rates in the nation. Yet this week, a six-week ban signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis in April 2023 is set to go into effect. Florida’s law will cut off access for a large number of patients, many of whom will have to travel as far as North Carolina and Virginia, where clinics have already reported long waiting periods and struggles to meet demand.

Six-week bans block a sizable share of abortions—as of 2021, nearly 60 percent of procedures in Florida occured after that point in pregnancy. But the history of six-week bans like Florida’s suggests that this will not be the stopping point for the anti-abortion movement. Six-week bans were designed to be a stopgap in the fight for fetal personhood.


Junk science is cited in abortion ban cases. Researchers are fighting the ‘fatally flawed’ work

Researchers are calling for the retraction of misleading anti-abortion studies that could influence judges in critical cases

Jessica Glenza
Sun 28 Apr 2024

The retraction of three peer-reviewed articles prominently cited in court cases on the so-called abortion pill – mifepristone – has put a group of papers by anti-abortion researchers in the scientific limelight.

Seventeen sexual and reproductive health researchers are calling for four peer-reviewed studies by anti-abortion researchers to be retracted or amended. The papers, critics contend, are “fatally flawed” and muddy the scientific consensus for courts and lawmakers who lack the scientific training to understand their methodological flaws.


U.S. Supreme Court Challenge to Abortion Pills Could Boost Illegal Imports

Safeguarding access to pills from online foreign distributors may become a flashpoint in the reproductive care battle

by Chloe Searchinger
April 5, 2024

After hearing oral arguments last week, the Supreme Court appeared dubious of the plaintiff's legal challenge to the abortion pill in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) v. Hippocratic Alliance of Medicine, the latest major abortion case since Dobbs v. Jackson overturned the constitutional guarantee to an abortion. Even though this outlook could lead pro-choice activists to breathe a minor sigh of relief and temporarily quell Big Pharma's fear over other challenges to FDA approvals, one indirect consequence regardless of the case outcome is the growing American reliance on imported abortion pills from overseas. 

This manner of accessing abortion has been increasing in popularity since Dobbs, and safeguarding the provision of these pills from unapproved foreign distributors could soon become a flashpoint in the American battle over reproductive care, given that these imports are illegal because they operate outside the formal U.S. health-care system and beyond FDA oversight. 


How Hobby Lobby Could Be Trump’s Reproductive Rights Wrecking Ball

The 2014 Supreme Court ruling is even more consequential as we stare down the possibility of Trump’s reelection—and a revival of the Comstock Act.

Susan Rinkunas
March 25, 2024

When Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell 10 years ago, he provided answers to questions that no one had asked—at least, officially. The plaintiffs, two businesses owned by Christians, objected to a mandate in the Affordable Care Act requiring health insurance providers to cover types of birth control known as emergency contraception, or E.C. Colloquially known as the “morning-after pill,” E.C. works after sex to prevent pregnancy by blocking sperm from fertilizing an egg or by preventing the release of an egg in the first place. But anti-abortion activists believe that morning-after pills and IUDs prevent implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus, which they say is tantamount to an abortion.


USA – Why the rift between anti-abortion activists and Republican lawmakers is growing

Alabama supreme court’s decision causing a temporary halt in IVF care shines spotlight on problem between two groups

Ava Sasani
Sun 17 Mar 2024

There is a growing rift in the decades-old marriage between anti-abortion activists and Republican lawmakers.

The problem came into view last month, after a bombshell decision from the Alabama supreme court temporarily halted in vitro fertilization (IVF). The ruling, which described frozen embryos as “extrauterine children”, unraveled when the Republican-controlled legislature passed short-term protections for IVF providers.