What an abortion hotline reveals about reproductive care after Roe

Linda Prine, a physician and co-founder of the Miscarriage and Abortion Hotline, describes the new realities for patients in states where the procedure is banned.

By Marin Cogan and Victoria Chamberlin
Feb 6, 2023

Linda Prine is a family physician and the co-founder of the Miscarriage and Abortion Hotline, which counsels women who want to use medication to self-manage their abortions. For women who need abortions in the states where the procedure is fully or partially banned, the medication, mifepristone and misoprostol, is often the best chance they have at receiving abortion care, particularly if they are unable to travel.

In 2020, the last year for which full data is available, medication abortions accounted for more than half of all abortions in the United States. While the FDA recently authorized pharmacies to carry the pills, and patients to receive the medication by mail, online pharmacies in the US still won’t sell or ship to states where self-managed abortion is illegal — meaning patients are often relying on overseas providers, which can take weeks.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/the-goods/23580117/linda-prine-abortion-pills-medication-dobbs-roe

USA – The Future of Abortion Pills Is on the Line

FEB. 3, 2023
By Andrea González-Ramírez

Since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, abortion pills have been a powerful tool for people to safely end a pregnancy on their own at home in the 14 states that have banned abortion. Abortion opponents and supporters are deeply invested in either cutting off or expanding access to the pills, and that tension has triggered a wave of legal challenges that could determine the future of medication abortion in the U.S.

“Back in the pre-Roe era, abortion was all done via procedure, which meant that if you could control the gatekeepers — the providers — then you could stop abortion in your state or stop a lot of it,” says Greer Donley, an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. “But now pills travel across borders all the time. It makes abortion really hard to control.”

Continued: https://www.thecut.com/2023/02/whats-happening-with-abortion-pills-in-the-courts.html

The Public, Including Women of Childbearing Age, Are Largely Confused About the Legality of Medication Abortion and Emergency Contraceptives in Their States

Feb 1, 2023
Even in States Where Abortion is Legal, Many are Uncertain about Legality of Medication Abortion

More than six months since the Supreme Court issued their Dobbs decision which overturned Roe v. Wade, there is widespread public confusion about the medication abortion pill and whether it is legal at the state level, according to the latest KFF Health Tracking Poll. The poll also finds many are unsure about the legality of emergency contraceptive pills, sometimes called morning after pills or “Plan B,” and whether the pills can end a pregnancy.

Across the country at least four in ten U.S. adults say they are “not sure” whether mifepristone, the medication abortion drug, is legal where they live. Half of women (49%) are “unsure” about whether medication abortion is legal in the state they live in, including 41% of women ages 18-49.

Continued: https://connect.kff.org/the-public-including-women-of-childbearing-age-are-largely-confused-about-the-legality-of-medication-abortion-and-emergency-contraceptives-in-their-states

A Trump-appointed Texas judge could force a major abortion pill off the market

February 1, 2023
Sarah McCammon

A case before a federal judge in Texas could dramatically alter abortion access in the United States – at least as much, some experts say, as the U.S. Supreme Court's Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision last year, which overturned decades of abortion-rights precedent.

A decision is expected soon in the case challenging the Food and Drug Administration's approval more than 20 years ago of the abortion drug mifepristone, which a growing number of patients use to terminate pregnancies.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/2023/02/01/1153593174/mifepristone-abortion-pill-federal-texas-lawsuit-restrict-access-nationwide

Abortion rights leaders set focus on access, medication — and the long fight ahead

The presidents of Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America both say that they’re alarmed at attempts to decrease access to medication abortion and that they see young people as key to their ability to change policy in the long term.

Grace Panetta, Political reporter
January 23, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Two of the most prominent leaders in the abortion rights movement told The 19th they’re preparing to tackle future abortion bans and restrictions at the state level, efforts to undermine medication abortion and abortion access deserts as the United States enters its first full year without Roe v. Wade.

Lawmakers, officials and leading abortion rights advocates gathered in Tallahassee for a speech by Vice President Kamala Harris and an accompanying rally hosted by Planned Parenthood on Sunday. They were marking the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe decision that established a federal right to abortion — one that was struck down last June. Advocates said the speech’s location in Florida’s capital drew attention to Republican lawmakers’ plans to pass additional abortion restrictions in their 2023 legislative session.

Continued: https://19thnews.org/2023/01/abortion-leaders-focus-medication-access-policy/

The Father of the Abortion Pill

The 96-year-old scientist who came up with an idea for an “unpregnancy pill” decades ago has led an eventful life, from his teenage days in the French Resistance to his friendships with famous artists.

By Pam Belluck
Jan. 17, 2023

When the idea struck him, nearly 50 years ago, Dr. Étienne-Émile Baulieu believed it could be revolutionary. Creating a pill that could abort a pregnancy would transform reproductive health care, he thought, allowing women to avoid surgery, act earlier and carry out their decisions in private.

“When science meets women’s cause, it is irresistible,” Dr. Baulieu, 96, a French endocrinologist and biochemist often called the father of the abortion pill, said on a recent Sunday afternoon in his apartment in a century-old building a short walk from the Eiffel Tower.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/17/health/abortion-pill-inventor.html

USA – Danco Moves to Intervene in Lawsuit Challenging FDA Approval of Mifeprex®

Danco Laboratories

NEW YORK, Jan. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Danco Laboratories (Danco) filed a motion to intervene in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, a lawsuit in which several anti-abortion organizations and four individual physicians asked a federal court to immediately suspend FDA's approval of Mifeprex®.  If the judge grants the plaintiffs' request, it may block the availability of Mifeprex® for medication abortion nationwide as early as mid-February. Prescribers across the United States may not be able to prescribe Mifeprex® to their patients, because the drug could not be sold or shipped to certified healthcare providers. The plaintiffs filed this suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division, on November 18, 2022.

At a time when people across the country are already struggling to obtain abortion care services, this lawsuit aims to compound and limit access to abortion even further through a blatant attempt to completely deny people access to medication abortion care in the U.S.  The lawsuit is also a direct challenge to the FDA approval process for all pharmaceutical products.  Danco joins this action to ensure that the FDA approval of Mifeprex® remains in force and people continue to have access to this safe and effective medication. 

Continued: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/danco-moves-to-intervene-in-lawsuit-challenging-fda-approval-of-mifeprex-301721772.html

USA – The new front in the right’s war on abortion

Abortion pills are at the heart of the fight over abortion access in a post-Roe world.

By Rachel M. Cohen
Jan 9, 2023

The Biden administration helped expand access to medication abortion last week, with the US Food and Drug Administration finalizing a rule to make the pills more readily available in pharmacies. But this effort to help patients get pills to end a pregnancy could be dwarfed by a major push to restrict access to the medication from anti-abortion leaders and their Republican allies.

As lawmakers head back to state legislatures this month, many for the first time since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, Republicans face new pressure to restrict access to the combination of abortion-inducing drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, used typically within the first 10 to 12 weeks of a pregnancy. Medication abortion has become the most common method for ending pregnancies in the United States, partly due to its safety record, its lower cost, diminished access to in-person care, and greater opportunities for privacy.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2023/1/9/23540562/abortion-pills-medication-dobbs-roe-mifepristone

USA – The Fight Over Abortion Is Far From Over. Here’s What Will Happen in 2023.

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.

Continued: https://www.vice.com/en/article/pkg9p7/abortion

USA – Desperate abortion foes resort to new tactics while pregnant people find ways to thwart them

DEC. 18, 2022

Illegal abortion is back, and — dare I say? — it’s better than ever. Did our ultraconservative Supreme Court, so out of step with 21st century America, really think that overturning nearly 50 years of legal precedent would end elective abortion in America?

Sure, sure, they returned the issue to the states, the reddest of which immediately banned the procedure, even when a pregnancy results from rape or incest or the fetus has medical issues incompatible with life.

Continued: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-12-18/illegal-abortion-pills-ban-medication-abortion