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.”

Keeping Score: Chloé Zhao Makes Oscars History; Philonise Floyd Calls Chauvin Verdict “Necessary”; Senate Passes Anti-Hate Crime Bill; Reuters’s First Woman Editor-in-Chief

This week: Biden administration speaks on Black maternal health; all U.S. adults are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination; Derek Chauvin is convicted for murdering George Floyd; Senate passes bill to address anti-Asian crimes; Biden pledges to cut emissions in half; and more!

FDA Allows Telemedicine Abortion During Pandemic

The FDA issued long-awaited guidance lifting a restriction on the abortion pill mifepristone for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The move permits telemedicine abortion.

The announcement came in response to a long-running campaign by activists and medical professionals to get the FDA to lift the in-person distribution requirement on mifepristone.

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.

Telemedicine Abortion Health Care Now an Option in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, Maine Family Planning is offering telemedicine abortion, operating under a research exception to the FDA restriction.

“The pandemic has really amplified all of the hurdles for folks getting abortions. Telemedicine can help eliminate some of those challenges, allowing people to get care at home. Telemedicine has really helped to make sure that people can access the services that they want.”