Culture Wars/Current Controversies

We don’t have a right to walk away

Repro Nation Monthly | January 2023
We don’t have a right to walk away
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, 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:

“People have given their lives for our civil rights. We cannot forget the many people who were killed during the civil rights movement or beaten. The people who sat in lunch counters who were beaten because they had the temerity to believe that equality was a fundamental principle in our Constitution. If others could give their lives for us, we don’t have a right to despair. We don’t have a right to walk away in this fight. We have an obligation to continue it.”
2023 will offer many opportunities to keep the fight alive.


Regina Mahone,

Senior Editor

Where Is Abortion Legal?

How to Get an Abortion

What Is Self-Managed Abortion?

If/When/How Repro Legal Helpline

Digital Security and Abortion Guide

Find Help Paying for an Abortion

Abortion, Explained

More Abortion Resources

Abortion Access for a Young Person

Abortion Access for Immigrants

Pregnancy Criminalization, Explained

Buy Needed Items for Abortion Providers Nationwide
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“Until we are all free none of us are” – Emma Lazarus. via @liberaljanee
More From The Nation
Abortion Rights Voters Are Reshaping Politics
A special-election victory in Virginia confirms that abortion rights will continue to be a key motivator in the critical state legislative elections of 2023.
John Nichols
The FDA’s Abortion Announcement Is Not What You Think
The FDA just reinforced “abortion exceptionalism” in health care and added paternalistic busywork for pharmacists dispensing medication abortion.
Renee Bracey Sherman, Dr. Daniel Grossman and Tracy Weitz
Biden & Co. Are Finally Bringing Some Firepower to the Abortion Fight
With two small but significant moves, the Biden administration has made abortion pills more widely available.


Elie Mystal
The Senate Puts Pregnant Workers on the Verge of Getting New Protections
A bill to ensure that pregnant workers receive accommodations on the job has been approved as an amendment to the must-pass omnibus spending bill.
Bryce Covert for The Nation
Read all of the latest abortion news and analysis from The Nation here.
From the Archives
This Moment Was Years in the Making
In December 2019, The Nation’s editors, correspondents, and contributors warned that the politics of abortion was entering a new era. Senior Editor Emily Douglas explained at the time that the conservative push to block access to abortion, as well as contraception, sexual health education, and STI treatment and testing, was getting close to the end game of overturning Roe—but that it had also sparked a “furious backlash” among the left that gave “rise to hundreds of local and regional efforts to support those who need abortion care and has thrust the demand for abortion access to the center of progressive politics.” Today’s fight is very much a continuation of that fight.
From our December 16/23, 2019, Issue
What We’re Watching

Roe v. Wade at 50 (Almost): What Abortion Access Looks Like After Constitutional Right Overturned (The Nation’s abortion access correspondent, Amy Littlefield, on Democracy Now!)

What We’re Listening to

Fifteen Minutes of Feminism: Heather Booth and the Jane Collective (Michele Goodwin, Heather Booth, and the Jane Collective via Ms. Magazine’s On the Issues)

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