NEWS: Appeals court upholds legality of abortion pill but with significant restrictions

by | Aug 17, 2023 | Repro Health Watch

Appeals Court Upholds Legality of Abortion Pill but With Significant Restrictions

New York Times, August 16, 2023

A federal appeals court panel said on Wednesday that the abortion pill mifepristone should remain legal in the United States but with significant restrictions on patients’ access to it, setting up a showdown before the Supreme Court on the fate of the most common method of terminating pregnancies. The decision, which would prohibit the pill from being sent through the mail or prescribed through telemedicine, is the latest development in a closely watched lawsuit that seeks to remove abortion pills entirely from the market by invalidating the Food and Drug Administration’s 23-year-old approval of mifepristone. But for now, the ruling will have no real-world effect: In April, the Supreme Court said mifepristone would have to remain available under the current rules until the appeals process concludes. Anti-abortion groups filed the lawsuit last year, several months after the Supreme Court had overturned the constitutional right to abortion. Shortly after the appeals court ruled on Wednesday, the Justice Department said it would ask the justices to hear the case.

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She Wasn’t Able to Get an Abortion. Now She’s a Mom. Soon She’ll Start 7th Grade.

TIME, August 14, 2023

Ashley just had a baby. She’s sitting on the couch in a relative’s apartment in Clarksdale, Miss., wearing camo-print leggings and fiddling with the plastic hospital bracelets still on her wrists. It’s August and pushing 90 degrees, which means the brown patterned curtains are drawn, the air conditioner is on high, and the room feels like a hiding place. Peanut, the baby boy she delivered two days earlier, is asleep in a car seat at her feet, dressed in a little blue outfit. Ashley is surrounded by family, but nobody is smiling. One relative silently eats lunch in the kitchen, her two siblings stare glumly at their phones, and her mother, Regina, watches from across the room. Ashley was discharged from the hospital only hours ago, but there are no baby presents or toys in the room, no visible diapers or ointments or bottles. Almost nobody knows that Peanut exists, because almost nobody knew that Ashley was pregnant. She is 13 years old. Soon she’ll start seventh grade.

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Ohio’s Issue 1 Would Have Made Protecting Abortion Rights Harder. Data Shows Why It Failed.

AP, August 13, 2023

Ohio voters rejected a proposal that would have made it more difficult for voters to amend the state constitution, including one measure set for the November ballot that would guarantee abortion rights in the state. The Associated Press has called Tuesday’s race, determining that supporters of the proposal known as Issue 1 fell short in their effort to require future changes to the state constitution to win the support of 60% of voters instead of a straight majority. Votes cast against the measure, or No votes, received 57% compared to 43% in favor, with the count nearly completed, a lead of almost 430,000 votes. The nearly 750,000 advance votes cast by mail or in-person before Election Day broke heavily for No, roughly 70% to 30%, unsurprising considering Ohio Democrats campaigned heavily against Issue 1 and pre-Election Day voting tends to skew heavily Democratic. The No side also appeared to win among votes cast on Election Day, approximately 53% to 47%, which is notable because the Election Day vote has tended to favor Republicans ever since Donald Trump discouraged advance voting in his failed 2020 re-election bid.

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Young Women Get Proactive Before Heading to HBCUs in States With Abortion Bans

NPR, August 14, 2023

As some young women head to HBCUs in states where abortion is restricted or banned, they’re getting education and birth control to help safeguard their reproductive health during college. In California, many recent high school grads are preparing to leave the liberal enclave for states that now ban abortion. Some students headed to historically Black colleges and universities in the South are especially worried. KQED’s April Dembosky takes us to Oakland Technical High School, where nurses are helping students prepare to live under more restrictive laws. Behind the main classroom building, across from the football field and bleachers, there’s a small, bright purple building. This is the TechniClinic, a school-based health center run by a local nonprofit where students can come during lunch, get free, confidential birth control consults and STI checks, then get back to their desk for fourth period math.

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VA Insurance Won’t Cover IVF for LGBTQ+ and Unmarried Veterans

The 19th, August 14, 2023

Amber Bohlman tried almost everything to get pregnant. For five years, she took hormones that gave her headaches. Bohlman underwent three rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI), in which her partner’s sperm was directly implanted into her uterus. Though the procedure was covered by her insurance, which she received through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), she still paid $200 out of pocket each time. Bohlman, a 36-year-old fish culturist in Fairbanks, Alaska, spent those years hopefully watching her pregnancy tests, only to be disappointed when she saw a negative result each time. “You get your hopes up every month, and then you have to go through that sadness of it not happening,” she recalled. “You just keep doing that.”

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Note: The information contained in this publication reflects media coverage of women’s health issues and does not necessarily reflect the views of the National Partnership for Women & Families.