USA – “Fetal heartbeat” law: yet another unconstitutional law to harass women and tie up the courts

Already mired in three lawsuits over abortion restrictions, Kentucky lawmakers are ratcheting up the stakes with a new bill in the Republican-dominated state Senate to ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected (± 6 weeks). The American Civil Liberties Union, the state’s adversary in other ongoing court fights, warns the bill is blatantly unconstitutional and will immediately trigger a legal challenge. The legal standard set 45 years ago by the Supreme Court in … Continued

USA – Another kind of abortion ban

I wanted to provide abortions for my patients. My medical school wouldn’t teach me how. “Last year brought one of the toughest moments I’d ever faced as a family doctor. A woman had shown up for her appointment after a three-hour drive to one of our clinics in Arkansas, and we had to turn her away. A state restriction had gone into effect, requiring that abortion providers contract with a physician who has hospital-admitting privileges. … Continued

USA – Abortion access is limited, but this travelling doctor is determined to provide care

It’s 11:30 pm in St Louis, and Dr Colleen McNicholas’ flight is delayed. She’s headed to Oklahoma, as she does each month, to work at an abortion clinic that has been closed for a week for lack of a doctor. Now 60 patients are on the next day’s schedule, waiting for her to provide care. Flight delays and travel hiccups aren’t new to McNicholas. She travels an average of 400 miles almost weekly to one … Continued

USA – A new helpline to answer legal questions about self-managed abortion pill use

As abortion access in the USA has become increasingly restricted, more women have turned to self-managed abortions with abortion pills. Self-managed abortions are at risk of becoming increasingly criminalized, which could disproportionately impact people of color, low-income people, immigrants and others who face significant barriers to reproductive health care access. In order to help people concerned about the legality of terminating their pregnancies themselves, a team of lawyers launched an abortion helpline and website in … Continued

USA – Charges against two women, in Indiana and Virginia, dismissed

On September 13, 2018, prosecutors in Chesterfield County, Virginia, finally dropped the criminal charge of “producing an abortion,” a class 4 felony, filed against Michelle Roberts. Almost three years ago, Ms Roberts had experienced a stillbirth at home and placed the fetal remains in the ground behind her house.

USA – The new fight for abortion access, by mail

According to a Reuters-reviewed study, 43% of all abortions managed in 2014 by Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading abortion provider, are medical abortions (that is, non-surgical). Because the US Food & Drug Administration has placed a REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies) designation on one of the drugs (mifepristone), however, it can only be legally obtained in person from a specially licensed abortion provider, rather than through a pharmacy or in the mail. But a clinical trial using … Continued

USA – Self-managed medication abortion: expanding the available options for US abortion care

Self-managed abortion is not a new phenomenon, but many long-standing biases and Instead, many forward-looking thinkers—including providers, researchers and advocates—are working toward a future in which everyone seeking abortion care has access to the full range of safe and effective options, including self-managed methods. In this scenario, all who opt to pursue self-management would have access to the information they need and to a provider of their choice if they need or want one at any stage.

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