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.

Democratic AGs File Counter-Lawsuit to Expand Access to Abortion Pills

As people wait nervously for an anti-abortion judge to rule in a Texas lawsuit aimed at removing the abortion pill mifepristone from the market nationwide, Democratic attorneys general from a dozen states are fighting back with a lawsuit of their own.

On Feb. 24, attorneys general of Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking a Washington federal court to declare that mifepristone is safe and effective and that the FDA’s approval of mifepristone is lawful and valid. Experts see the lawsuit as an attempt to produce a contrary ruling from the Texas judge, whom observers predict will order the FDA to remove mifepristone from the market.

Telehealth Providers Prepare for the Future

Providers of reproductive and gender-affirming care have long been pushing for an increase in the use of telemedicine. Patients want it too. Telehealth implementation comes with decreased costs, wait times and travel. For stigmatized issues like abortion and gender-affirming care, it also ensures patients and providers alike face less harassment and makes niche treatments more widely accessible.

To understand the telehealth landscape and how it impacts reproductive care, Ms. spoke with telehealth abortion, contraceptive, and gender-affirming care providers to understand how the fall of Roe has affected their work.

Telemedicine Abortion, Explained: The Ms. Q&A with Choix’s Cindy Adam

As abortion bans mount in states across the country in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion seekers in states where the procedure is banned are increasingly turning to online telemedicine providers.

“It really helps to alleviate the stress and the barriers that come with accessing such a highly stigmatized and politicized form of care, even in the states where abortion care remains legal,” said Cindy Adam, co-founder and CEO of Choix, of telemedicine abortion. “It puts that power to decide back into the hands of the person seeking care.”

Abortion How-To: The Ms. Q&A on Menstrual Extraction With Carol Downer

Before Roe v. Wade, one of the ways women bypassed the medical system to get necessary abortions was a technique feminists called “menstrual extraction,” using a syringe, flexible plastic tubing and a mason jar to extract the contents of the uterus.

Ms. spoke with activist Carol Downer about her experiences teaching people to perform menstrual extractions and how the procedure could help post-Roe.

“How in the world can that Supreme Court sit up there and deny this thing to us? How can they get away with that? You can guarantee that Amy Coney Barrett has not seen her own cervix.”

Abortion Pill FAQs: Get the Facts About Medication Abortion

The release of the draft Supreme Court opinion overturning abortion rights has left many people wondering about continued access to abortion. Reproductive rights advocates have been working hard to create an infrastructure of information and support for accessing and using abortion pills, no matter what happens when the Supreme Court issues its final ruling.

Here’s an easy guide to information about abortion pills.