Medical Records for Out-of-State Abortions Will Now Be Protected by HIPAA

Healthcare providers aren’t allowed to tell law enforcement about a patient’s abortion if they received the procedure in a state where it is legal, it is protected by federal law, or it is permitted by state law, the Biden administration said Monday. The rule will take effect in 30 days, and it represents a meaningful shift.

But it’s unclear whether it will protect medical data for people who self-manage their abortions by receiving medication in the mail, often from a prescribing physician in a state with laws protecting reproductive rights.

The Lie at the Heart of the Latest Supreme Court Abortion Case

This Wednesday, Idaho will attempt to defend its extreme abortion ban at the Supreme Court. Like many other abortion bans in the United States, the Idaho law contains a so-called life exception, which purports to allow an abortion when “necessary to prevent the death” of the pregnant person.

But do these exceptions actually preserve the lives of patients in practice? As Mayron Hollis, Amanda Zurawski, the family of Yeniifer Alvarez-Estrada Glick, and countless other women can attest, the answer is no. And the truth is, they’re not designed to. 

Idaho’s EMTALA Challenge Has Got Women Dead to Rights

On April 24, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Moyle v. U.S., a case that will determine whether individual states are allowed to exclude a single group from this basic protection: pregnant women.

The state of Idaho claims that it has the right to forbid pregnant women and girls—and only pregnant women and girls—from receiving emergency care that could save their lives.

Will SCOTUS Allow Pregnant Women to Die? Survivors Share ‘Dobbs’-Related Near-Death Experiences with the Court

On April 24, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases, Idaho v. United States  and Moyle v. United States, about whether states can prohibit doctors from treating women with life-threatening pregnancies until a patient’s condition deteriorates to the point where they are about to die.

Reproductive rights and legal advocates are collecting stories from over 100 women who almost died—and at least one who did—after being denied emergency abortion care.

The Arizona Abortion Fight Is a Reminder That Progress Is Not Linear

April’s U.S. political news admittedly brought many horrors—from Alabama legislators advancing a bill to define sex based on “reproductive systems,” not gender identity; to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing an Idaho ban on gender-affirming care for minors to take effect; to the Arizona Supreme Court upholding an abortion ban from 1864, which opens the door to criminalizing health providers with up to five years of prison time if they provide abortion services. Tucson Mayor Regina Romero called the ruling “a huge step backwards.”

Legal changes in the present may appear to be reversing earlier advancements, as Romero said. But advocates of equity need a better grasp of history so they are realistic about the intermittent successes of movements for social change. The fight for full gender equality is a long game.

Anti-Abortion Extremists Are Diverting Tax Dollars to Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Anti-abortion politicians are siphoning public dollars meant for low-income mothers and their children to fund anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) that coerce poor women and teens seeking an abortion to give birth, further condemning them to long-term economic hardship. Being denied a wanted abortion is a proven predictor of maternal and child poverty.

As the Biden administration advances a proposal to prohibit CPCs from future access to these federal funds, the anti-abortion movement is pushing back in force, claiming CPCs save taxpayer dollars and provide vital healthcare and safety net services to poor families. A first-time analysis of the CPC industry’s own reporting wholly contradicts these claims.

Final ‘Pregnant Workers Fairness Act’ Regulations Were Released—And It’s Great News for Women

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its final regulations implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The landmark statute mandating “reasonable accommodation” of workers’ pregnancy-related needs went into effect last summer, but the regulations explain the PWFA’s protections in more detail, providing additional guidance to workers, employers, and the courts so that the full force of the law is given effect. 

Out of Touch on Menopause: Experts Respond to The Lancet’s ‘Over-Medicalization’ Claims

Menopause is gaining attention in the media and highest levels of government, including the White House—but we still have a long way to go to ensure women get the support they need. A recent series issued by a respected journal, The Lancet, proves this point. 

The series claims to promote an “empowerment model for managing menopause.” To us—more than 250 obstetrician-gynecologists, family medicine physicians, cardiologists, internists, urologists, medical oncologists, psychiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, nurse practitioners and licensed therapists—this was an unexpected and welcome opportunity.

The series was awash with misstatements that do not reflect the lived experience of women in this stage of life or our clinical experience in treating them.

Trump’s Abortion Position, Explained

Donald Trump on Monday said he believes abortion should be left to the states. Sidestepping formally endorsing a nationwide ban, the former president’s announcement is already being perceived by some as an attempt to strike a compromise position on a top issue for women voters.

Here’s what Trump’s leave-it-to-the-states abortion position would look like in practice—according to anti-abortion leaders, reproductive rights experts, and Trump himself. In short, it leaves people in abortion states suffering consequences of extreme bans imposed in the wake of the Dobbs decision, and would leave his presidency multiple avenues to highly restrict abortion access nationwide.