|If the first week of the new year is any indication of how the rest of 2023 is going to go, I’m ready for it. The FDA kicked off the year with guns blazing, announcing that it will finally loosen requirements for medication abortion to allow providers to write prescriptions that can be filled at normal pharmacies. Then the DOJ clarified that shipping abortion pills through the mail is legal, period. Of course, getting abortion pills into hands is still not going to be easy, especially since the FDA didn’t go as far as removing all limitations on medication abortion, which is safer than some over-the-counter medications. But the moves signal that the fight over abortion rights didn’t end with the Supreme Court’s decision. In many ways, it’s just getting started—again.
At The Nation, we kicked off the year reflecting on 2022’s defenders of democracy. John Nichols, The Nation’s national affairs correspondent, spotlighted Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer; Katrina vanden Heuvel, our publisher, gave a shoutout to progressive prosecutors; and I named ineedana.com, an online guide for people to learn how to get an abortion, as the quintessential post-Roe resource. Read more about these honorees and others here.
With the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade just around the corner, despite the fact that it’s no longer the law of the land, I’m taking inspiration from these indefatigable leaders and other fearless advocates for justice like Justice Sonia Sotomayor. During a recent conversation with UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, the justice who has become “the conscience of the Supreme Court,” as Elie Mystal described her, said that the fight for freedom and liberty for all is what gives her hope for the future: