|If you thought January was a doozy, the year is just getting started. Specifically, many state legislative sessions are just getting started. As the first full year of sessions following the Dobbs ruling gets underway, there are a number of lawmakers seeking to deepen the penalties for performing abortions, while others are doing the most to try to pass bans in their respective states, including a ban that starts at fertilization, which happens several days before a person is even pregnant.
Meanwhile, Americans have never been more unhappy with the state of abortion access in the country, and voters are walking the walk by backing candidates seeking to protect reproductive freedom. Just this week: Democrat Jennifer McClellan, who was outspoken about her support for abortion rights in her campaign for Virginia’s 4th Congressional District, is expected to make history as the first Black woman from the state in Congress. And in Wisconsin, liberal candidates for the state Supreme Court received 54 percent of the vote, compared to 46 percent to Republican candidates. Read John Nichols’s report on that primary.
Democratic state lawmakers are fighting back, introducing bills that would strengthen reproductive rights and protections for providers, as progressive governors and attorneys general continue to hold the line. But in the background of all these state-level fights is a Texas case that could force the FDA to take one of the medications used in the two-dose medication abortion regimen off the market while a meritless lawsuit against it proceeds. NARAL said that if the court blocks mifepristone nationwide, as many as 40 million more women would lose abortion access. As Imani Gandy and Jess Pieklo of Rewire News Group explain in their must-listen podcast episode about the case, Big Pharma might be our only hope in keeping mifepristone on the market… which is a weird feeling, to say the least. Stay tuned for Amy Littlefield’s reporting on the case after the decision is announced, which could be as soon as this Friday. You can catch up by reading Elie Mystal’s January story on the case.
If you find yourself feeling completely overwhelmed or simply angry (again) about the state of abortion access, know you’re not alone. Restoring abortion rights, let alone liberation, was never going to be easy. This is the fight. Stay informed, including by learning the protocol for misoprostol-only medication abortion, and stay inspired, by following advocacy work from around the world. Si Mujer, we see you and celebrate your wins for Colombia.
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