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.

The American Rescue Plan Act Reveals the Importance of Investing in Reproductive Health Care

Last month, Congress passed President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. On top of direct stimulus checks, the Plan also includes funding for schools and childcare, increased child tax credits and rental assistance. But another—frequently overlooked—priority of this bill is expanding access to sexual and reproductive health care across the country.

FDA Action on Telemedicine Abortion Is Just the First Step—It’s Time the Biden Administration Lets Pharmacists Dispense the Abortion Pill

It is time for the Biden administration to begin fixing inequities by ensuring that federal policies do not hinder but instead help make the abortion pill more accessible, by allowing pharmacists to dispense the abortion pill.

Making mifepristone available through pharmacies can improve abortion access—especially in rural or other areas where abortion providers and clinics are remote or unavailable. And federal action can make this a reality.