Supreme Court Blocks Fifth Circuit Ruling, Allowing Mifepristone to Stay on the Market as Case Proceeds

In a shadow docket ruling late on Friday, April 21, the Supreme Court has decided to block a previous ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from taking effect, allowing the abortion pill mifepristone to remain on the market under current rules.

“While SCOTUS offered temporary relief, the fate of a medication approved by the FDA more than 20 years ago should have never been before the Supreme Court to begin with,” said Kirsten Moore of Expanding Medication Abortion Access Project.

Circuit Court Rules Abortion Pill Can Remain on the Market, but With Limitations That Could Restrict Access

In a divided opinion issued late Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the abortion medication mifepristone will remain approved for use throughout the United States, but only up to seven weeks of pregnancy when a doctor dispenses the medication in person. This ruling, if allowed to stand and followed, would significantly impair access to abortion throughout the United States.

“The Fifth Circuit’s decision to roll back recent measures that have ensured greater access to medication abortion care undermines the FDA’s authority and science, all while real people pay the price,” said Morgan Hopkins, president of All* Above All.

Federal Courts in Texas and Washington Release Contradictory Rulings. Abortion Pills Remain on the Market—For Now

On Friday, April 7, federal judges in both Texas and Washington state issued contradictory rulings on the abortion pill mifepristone. 

Federal judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas ruled that the FDA improperly approved mifepristone and ordered the agency to remove mifepristone from the market by April 14. One hour later, fellow federal judge Thomas O. Rice in the Eastern District of Washington issued an injunction blocking the FDA from “altering the status quo and rights as it relates to the availability of mifepristone.”  

In Wisconsin Supreme Court Election, Abortion Rights Prove Decisive

If the fall elections weren’t enough to prove that abortion rights are driving elections, the Wisconsin supreme court election this week is yet more evidence that American voters will show up at the polls to defend abortion rights. Janet Protasiewicz’s victory gives Democrats a chance to re-establish not only reproductive rights, but also labor rights and fair elections devastated by over a decade of Republican domination in the state.

Republican-Appointed Judge Strikes Down Affordable Care Act Coverage of Many Preventative Services: ‘A Huge Blow to Americans’ Health’

A federal district court judge in Texas issued a ruling on Thursday blocking certain Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements that insurers cover preventative care services with no out-of-pocket costs. The ruling applies nationwide.

The judge’s decision means millions of people could lose access to over 60 essential preventive services aimed at early detection of diseases, including breast and cervical cancer screenings, as well as breastfeeding support and pregnancy-related preventative care, including screenings for postpartum depression, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Research has shown that the ACA cost-free coverage of preventative services led to more people using them and narrowed care disparities in communities of color.

Groundbreaking Exhibition on Minerva Parker Nichols, America’s First Independent Woman Architect

A new groundbreaking exhibit at the University of Pennsylvania Architectural Archives recovers the story of a 19th-century architect named Minerva Parker Nichols (1862-1949). She was one of the country’s first woman architects, practicing in Philadelphia in the 1880s and 1890s. Over her lifetime, she designed over 80 buildings across the country, but Nichols has been largely forgotten.

The exhibit hopes to change that. It runs from March 21 to June 17 at University of Pennsylvania’s Architectural Archives and will then travel to University of Massachusetts, Amherst next year.

What Clinicians Want You to Know About Getting Abortion Pills in Anti-Abortion States

Women living in states restricting or banning abortion are finding creative ways to access abortion pills. Ms. spoke to telehealth abortion clinicians across several states to ask them what they wish their patients knew about mail forwarding.

“We want to help you, but we can’t know that you’re doing mail forwarding,” said one telehealth clinician. Another summed it up concisely: “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”