When a government takes control of reproductive rights, it may as well classify women as incubators, which essentially enslaves them. Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, political and judicial actions proved they do not value the female population they serve.
Anti-abortion proponents continue to restrict women’s access to choose what happens to their bodies. They even coined a new term, Abortion Trafficking, which further criminalizes anyone seeking a medical abortion or those who “help” them. Additionally, a federal judge’s ruling in Texas would end access to mifepristone in all states, and opponents filed appeals.
These updates further show that practically nothing about a woman’s reproductive decisions is sacred in post-Roe v. Wade America.
On Friday, April 9, 2023, U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk ruled that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) should not have approved mifepristone 23 years ago.
Politico says, “The decision, however, will not take effect for a week, giving higher courts time to consider the appeal the Biden administration filed Friday night.” It also “delays the impact on hundreds of thousands of patients [women] who use the medication both for abortions and treating miscarriages.”
Hours later, Washington State U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice ruled that the drug was safe and effective in a separate case. His decision instructed the FDA to continue to allow women in the 17 states named in the suit and Washington, D.C., access to mifepristone.
Then on April 10, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland formally appealed Judge Kacsmaryk’s decision to block mifepristone. The appeal, “If allowed to take effect, the court’s order would thwart FDA’s scientific judgment and severely harm women, particularly those for whom mifepristone is a medical or practical necessity.” Garland added: “This harm would be felt throughout the country.” He asked the Fifth Circuit of Appeals to issue a decision on the emergency appeal by Thursday at noon, which is one day ahead of the Texas judge’s finalizing his ruling.
The sole mifepristone manufacturer, Danco Laboratories, is also appealing Judge Kacmaryk’s decision. Their appeal noted that the judge omitted crucial facts. For example, he never mentioned the millions of women who have safely used the drug since its approval. Additionally, the Texas judge did not talk about the extreme consequences ending the drug’s distribution would wreak on the one-product company.
Americans Disagree with Abortion Laws
When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the decision gave states autonomy to set abortion restrictions. According to the Guttmacher Institute, there were over 900 bills introduced by state legislators in 2022.
Of those, 50 abortion restrictions and 77 protections became law at the state level.
Americans are more unhappy with U.S. abortion laws than at any point in the past 23 years. The Gallup report further indicates pollsters found that voters are three times as likely to choose less strict over more strict policies.
According to the latest Gallup polls, nearly 69% of respondees were unhappy with current abortion laws. Moreover, half of all women (50%) polled responded they wanted less strict laws, 23% were satisfied with existing laws, 15% wanted stricter laws, and 15% indicated they had no preference. Men’s results were similar, with only a few percentage points difference in each category.
In post-Roe v. Wade America, states legislatures states passed total or near-total abortion bans laws banning abortion: Some forbid terminating a pregnancy as early as conception. In contrast, others set the final date at six weeks.
Women’s Lives Are at Risk
Ending access to safe abortion puts women’s lives at risk. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the maternal mortality rate climbed greatly in the year since Roe was overturned. In 2021, 1,205 women died, compared with 861 in 2020 and 754 in 2019.
The 2021 maternal mortality rate was 32.9 deaths for every 100,000 live births, compared with 23.8 in 2020 and 20.1 in 2019. Women aged 40 and over were 6.8 times higher than those under 25.
Women seeking abortions report various reasons for risking their lives by self-inducing or self-managing their abortions. Most everyone has heard about the potential outcomes of abortions outside the medical arena. With mifepristone’s fate in the courts’ hands, maternal deaths will continue to increase.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Forbes: American Unhappiness With Abortion Laws At Record High, Poll Finds As Lawmakers Consider Watering Down Bans; by Alison Durkee
AP: Judge in Washington orders feds to keep abortion pill access
OPB: Dueling federal rulings leave abortion drug access in limbo, as Oregon, Washington prepare to fight back; by Amelia Templeton and Lillian Mongeau Hughes
Politico: Texas judge halts FDA approval of abortion pill; by Alice Miranda Ollstein
The Washington Post: Texas judge suspends FDA approval of abortion pill; second judge protects access; by Ann E. Marimow, Caroline Kitchener, Perry Stein, and Robert Barnes
Women’s eNews: Banning Access to Medication Abortion: 10 States to be Hit Hardest
Gallop News: Dissatisfaction With U.S. Abortion Policy Hits Another High; by Megan Brenan
Science Direct: Barriers to abortion care and incidence of attempted self-managed abortion among individuals searching Google for abortion care: A national prospective study; by Ushma D. Upadhyay, Alice F. Cartwright, and Daniel Grossman
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First Inset Image by Gayatri Malhorta Courtesy of Unsplash
Second Inset Image by Gayatri Mahorta Courtesy of Unsplash
Third Inset Image by Gayatri Malhorta Courtesy of Unsplash
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