USA – The Right’s War on Abortion Was Never About Legal Doctrine

The justices in the Dobbs majority promised to return abortion “to the people’s elected representatives.” For conservative activists, this was just the beginning.

MAY 30, 2023

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Court’s conservatives tried to couch the decision in moderated, legalistic terms.  

In his majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the Court was simply returning the power to regulate abortion “to the people’s elected representatives.” Justice Brett Kavanaugh filed a platitude-ridden concurrence stating that “on the issue of abortion, the Constitution is neither pro-life nor pro-choice. The Constitution is neutral.” Both justices were making the same point. They were claiming that the decision did not speak to the propriety of abortion, but instead was a judgment only about the scope of the Constitution.



Reporters are parroting — and spreading — sentimental falsehoods.

Judith Levine
May 27 2023

“ONCE A FETAL heartbeat could be detected, typically around the sixth week of pregnancy … ”

When I read this phrase in the New Yorker, referring to Texas’s first abortion ban, I shot off a letter to the editor. “This is misleading,” I wrote. “There is no heartbeat at six weeks because the fetus does not yet have a heart. As San Francisco OB-GYN Dr. Jennifer Kerns told NPR: ‘What we’re really detecting is a grouping of cells that are initiating some electrical activity. In no way is this detecting a functional cardiovascular system or a functional heart.’” I noted that “a six-week fetus is about the size and shape of a baked bean.”


USA – Appeals court judges embrace anti-abortion speculation

MAY 18, 2023

America’s major medical institutions and drug policy scholars have roundly denounced as “pseudoscience” many of the claims brought by anti-abortion groups in a high-profile federal lawsuit asking the Food and Drug Administration to revoke its 23-year-old approval of mifepristone, one half of a two-drug regimen that has become the most common form of pregnancy termination post-Roe v. Wade.

But the appeals court’s three-judge panel that heard oral arguments Wednesday appeared to be persuaded not by the medical consensus in this case, but by some of the evidence brought forward by plaintiffs that consists largely of anecdotes, speculation, and cherry-picked studies brought by a handful of anti-abortion medical groups and doctors.


USA – Arguments on landmark abortion pill case to be heard Wednesday in appeals court

MAY 16, 2023

WASHINGTON — The lawsuit over access to the abortion pill goes before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Wednesday, the next step on a path that will likely end at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The three-judge panel will decide whether to keep, overturn, or alter a ruling from U.S. District Court from the Northern District of Texas Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who sought to end the prescription medication’s approval in an early April ruling.


Three GOP appointees, including 2 from Trump, will hear the next phase of major abortion pill case

By Tierney Sneed
Mon May 8, 2023

The New Orleans-based appeals court panel that will oversee the next stage in the blockbuster legal challenge to the availability of medication abortion drugs is made up of three Republican appointees, including one Trump nominee who has called abortion a “moral tragedy.”

Circuit Judges James Ho and Cory Wilson, both Trump nominees, will hear the oral arguments on May 17, alongside Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod, an appointee of George W. Bush.


The long and winding history of the war on abortion drugs

Along with the stethoscope and camembert cheese, mifepristone may be one of France’s greatest inventions. It’s one of two drugs taken for medical abortions, along with misoprostol, and has been making headlines in the US, where a Texas judge issued a ruling to ban it nationwide. FRANCE 24 takes a look at the history of these two drugs.


Two separate rulings filed one after another in quick succession on April 7 had US abortion providers holding their breath. The first, issued by Trump-appointed federal judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, ordered a hold on mifepristone, one of two drugs taken for medical abortions. The second, issued by Obama-appointed federal judge Thomas O. Rice, came less than an hour later. His ruling ordered the exact opposite.


USA – The War on Drugs Isn’t Coming for Abortion Pills. It’s Already Here.

A federal judge citing the Purvi Patel case as part of his crusade to declare mifepristone unsafe and remove it from the market nationally is alarming.

APR 26, 2023

The Supreme Court granted a reprieve in the far-right’s fight to upend medication abortion access—for now.

The Court on Friday stayed the order U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk had issued earlier in the month from Amarillo, Texas that purported to pull FDA approval of mifepristone, one of two drugs used in medication abortions. By putting a hold on Kacsmaryk’s lawless order, the Court has maintained the status quo regarding mifepristone access. That means it will be months, if not longer, before anti-abortion advocates will be able to weaponize the courts in their bid to restrict, if not remove entirely, access to the drug.


Abortion pill mifepristone remains legal for now. What happens next?

UT law professor Stephen Vladeck discusses what’s to come in the ongoing legal challenges to abortion after the Supreme Court voted to preserve access to the abortion pill.

By Glorie Martinez and Laura Rice
April 24, 2023

Last Friday, the U.S. awaited action from the Supreme Court in the biggest case involving abortion since Roe v. Wade was overturned. That case traces back to a recent ruling by federal judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Amarillo, who revoked FDA approval for the abortion pill mifepristone which has been widely available since the early 2000s.

Within minutes of the Amarillo ruling, another federal judge in Washington State issued an order for the FDA to keep mifepristone available – a direct challenge to competing court orders. To prevent regulatory chaos, the Biden administration asked the Supreme Court to intervene.


Canada says it could offer access to mifepristone if the abortion drug is banned in the US

The Supreme Court is deciding whether or not to uphold a ban issued in Texas.

By Mary Kekatos
April 21, 2023

A Canadian health official said on Friday Americans could access an abortion drug up north if a ban is upheld in the United States.

In an April 7 decision, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas ruled in favor of Alliance Defending Freedom -- a conservative Christian legal advocacy group -- and reversed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of mifepristone.


The Anti-Abortion Movement Finally Went Too Far for This Supreme Court

Mifepristone will remain legal in blue states, despite a lawless judicial effort to ban it.

APRIL 21, 2023

On Friday evening, the Supreme Court halted U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s unprecedented effort to remove a key abortion drug, mifepristone, from the market nationwide. The order, which appears to be 7–2, ensures that mifepristone will remain legal and accessible in states where it remains lawful to prescribe. Only Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito noted their dissents, but not a single justice even tried to defend the decision by Kacsmaryk, a Donald Trump appointee whose ruling earlier this month represented a particularly lawless attempt to assert power over the Food and Drug Administration. Friday’s stay sends a strong message to the lower courts that SCOTUS will not entertain this cynical attempt to impose new nationwide restrictions—and potentially even a ban—on abortion.