The Weekly Pulse: 2021 “Most Hostile” for Abortion; FDA Bans Menthol Cigarettes; Advocates Urge Biden to End Helms and Step Up Global Vaccine Campaign

This week: The 2021 legal session is the “most hostile” for reproductive rights in at least a decade; reproductive health advocates urge the Biden administration to take up the mantle of abortion care, starting with the repeal of the Helms Amendment; the FDA moves to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars within the next year; and the global vaccination effort remains slow due to a lack of support from developed countries.

Unprecedented Surge in Anti-Abortion Laws Proposed and Passed Across the U.S.

Anti-abortion lawmakers have passed significantly more abortion restrictions in 2021 than in the first four months of 2011—the year previously regarded as the most hostile to abortion rights since Roe—enacting 61 restrictions in 13 states.

“The current barrage of coordinated attacks must be taken seriously as the unprecedented threat to reproductive health care and rights that it is. The year 2021 is well on its way to being a defining one in abortion rights history.”

New Mexico’s Playbook for a Reproductive Justice-Affirming Legislature

Amid the flurry of attacks on abortion rights in states across the country, New Mexico’s reproductive justice movement recently won a major victory: Our legislature repealed an antiquated abortion ban that would have criminalized abortion if Roe v. Wade is gutted or overturned.

An ambitious on-the-ground electoral coalition mobilized voters, who installed progressive champions in the New Mexico Senate—proving that reproductive justice is a winning issue for our families.

The Weekly Pulse: What’s With Periods and the Vaccine?; Biden Allows Fetal Tissue for Research; Chauvin Verdict “Accountability, Not Justice”

Why is has it taken a pandemic for people to openly talk about periods?

This week, we discuss reports of people experiencing heavier periods after receiving the vaccine, and how the lack of research on menstruation is hampering our ability to combat vaccine disinformation. We also provide updates on the vaccine rollout both in the U.S. and worldwide, as well as track the latest news in the battle for reproductive justice. Finally, health experts weigh in on the verdict of the Derek Chauvin trial.

The Weekly Pulse: Birth Control Users Question J&J Vaccine Pause; Biden Reverses Domestic Gag Rule

For The Weekly Pulse, we’ve scoured the most trusted journalistic sources—and, of course, our Twitter feeds—to bring you this week’s most important news stories related to health and wellness.

This week: updates on the pandemic as cases rise worldwide; birth control users question the FDA pause on distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine; the Biden administration bolsters reproductive health by lifting medication abortion restrictions and undoing the domestic gag rule; and more.