•   
  •   
  •   

Politics How Politics And Bureaucracy Halted The Promise Of The Abortion Pill

13:15  04 october  2020
13:15  04 october  2020 Source:   huffingtonpost.com

What the Supreme Court Fight Means for the Senate Majority

  What the Supreme Court Fight Means for the Senate Majority Democrats could have an easier time taking back the chamber if they focus voters’ attention on the Court’s impact on health care.The reason: The confirmation fight is likely to further weaken the position of endangered Republican senators in Colorado, Maine, and Arizona—states where polls show a solid majority of voters support legal abortion. But even if Democrats flip all three, they will still likely need to win one more seat to take the majority. And in the next tier of states where they could possibly flip a seat, the politics of abortion will make that more difficult.

Home Communities Women How Politics And Bureaucracy Halted The Promise Of The Abortion Pill . Rigorous research has shown that medication abortion is safe and effective, and over 3.7 million women have used it to end their pregnancies since its approval.

Anti- abortion activists conceded defeat early on Saturday as their opponents expressed astonishment at the scale of their victory. Lawmakers who campaigned for a "No" vote said they would not seek to block the government's plans to allow abortions with no restriction up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

Twenty years ago today, the Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone, a drug used to terminate early pregnancies that held the promise of revolutionizing abortion care in the U.S.

a hand holding an orange: The abortion pill was supposed to decentralize abortion care. Instead, patients are still forced to travel long distances to abortion clinics to pick it up.  © Getty Images The abortion pill was supposed to decentralize abortion care. Instead, patients are still forced to travel long distances to abortion clinics to pick it up.

Colloquially called the abortion pill, mifepristone is taken in combination with another drug, misoprostol, and allows patients under 10 weeks pregnant to have an abortion in the privacy of their home, instead of inside an abortion clinic. Reproductive rights activists lobbying for the drug envisioned a future where women could have the pills prescribed by their primary physician and dispensed at their local pharmacy, transforming abortion into just another part of normal health care.

What Amy Coney Barrett On The Supreme Court Would Mean for Abortion Rights

  What Amy Coney Barrett On The Supreme Court Would Mean for Abortion Rights The reported plan to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has at once alarmed liberals and exhilarated social conservatives, both of whom believe that she would be likely to support restrictions on abortion rights and could even vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision legalizing the procedure nationwide. President Donald Trump is expected on Saturday to nominate Barrett, a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, after the death last week of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

How Politics And Bureaucracy Halted The Promise Of The Abortion Pill .

How Politics And Bureaucracy Halted The Promise Of The Abortion Pill .

And yet, in the year 2020, that vision has not come true.

Rigorous research has shown that medication abortion is safe and effective, and over 3.7 million women have used it to end their pregnancies since its approval. These days, about 40% of abortions in the U.S. are done using medication. Still, mifepristone is still treated as a dangerous drug, over the objections of a growing chorus of medical organizations and Democratic lawmakers.

Because mifepristone is subject to a special set of FDA restrictions known as a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS), medication abortion is highly regulated. In most cases, patients seeking the drugs must drive to their closest abortion clinic, which may be hours away depending on the state, to get the medicines.

The Democrats’ Frivolous Three-Pronged Attack on Judge Barrett

  The Democrats’ Frivolous Three-Pronged Attack on Judge Barrett Progressives’ main arguments against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee don’t withstand scrutiny.(1) President Trump has a litmus test for nominees, who must take predetermined positions that support his policy agenda; (2) Relatedly, Judge Barrett will “destroy” the Affordable Care Act, consideration of which comes up on the Supreme Court’s oral-argument docket the week after Election Day; and (3) Barrett, a devout Catholic, is on a crusade to overturn Roe v. Wade (1973).

How Politics And Bureaucracy Halted The Promise Of The Abortion Pill .

The conditions of the clinic have been described as deplorable. According to a criminal complaint, shelves in the clinics were lined with bags and Investigators say Gosnell made thousands of dollars a night, mostly in cash, for a few hours of work performing abortions . Nine of Gosnell's employees

The coronavirus pandemic has brought into stark relief the consequences of the restrictions. Patients have been forced to travel long distances in violation of stay-at-home orders to obtain drugs that could easily be sent in the mail.

In May, reproductive health care providers successfully sued the FDA to temporarily block the requirement that patients obtain medication abortion in-person during the pandemic. Currently, patients in some states are able to access medication abortion via telemedicine, though theTrump administration has asked the Supreme Court to block the lower court ruling. At the same time, some anti-abortion rights Republican lawmakers, such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, are pushing to have the drug removed from the market entirely.

To understand the history of medication abortion in the U.S., HuffPost spoke to Cynthia A. Pearson, executive director of the National Women’s Health Network, who campaigned for the abortion pill to be approved in the 1990s.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Barrett signed anti-abortion letter accompanying ad calling to overturn Roe v. Wade

  Supreme Court nominee Amy Barrett signed anti-abortion letter accompanying ad calling to overturn Roe v. Wade Barrett's name appeared on an anti-abortion letter that accompanied a newspaper ad calling for "an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade."The two-page advertisement was placed in the South Bend Tribune by the Indiana anti-abortion group St. Joseph County Right to Life. On one page, Barrett and her husband Jesse's names appear under the message, "We, the following citizens ... oppose abortion on demand and defend the right to life from fertilization to natural death.

How Politics And Bureaucracy Halted The Promise Of The Abortion Pill .

The contraceptive pill has been called the greatest scientific invention of the 20th Century by some commentators. Arriving at a moment of social The first time the side-effects saw her put on weight and break out in spots, while another time a different brand of the pill made her feel more hormonal.

You testified at the FDA meeting in 1996 where an advisory committee recommended the approval of medication abortion. What do you remember from that day?

At the time, I was the policy advocacy director for my organization and I had been campaigning to get the pill to the U.S. for several years. The most visceral memory I have is the fear that the FDA staff felt about violence. I had been going to FDA meetings on all kinds of women’s health issues for years. Usually we would take the subway, walk through a parking lot, enter the FDA building and take the elevator down to a basement area to their conference rooms. It would be just another government meeting.

This meeting was in a different, secured location. They were so concerned about safety that all of us who wanted to go to the meeting had to first park at a hotel and get screened before getting on the shuttle bus. Then we had to go through another set of federal marshals and get screened again before we could get into the room where the meeting was held. The FDA’s fear of violence wasn’t unjustified. There had been violent attacks against abortion providers and threats made against FDA officials. FDA spokespeople at that time were counseled not to use their names for fear of becoming targets. We knew we were going into this really fraught situation.

The post-Ginsburg Supreme Court's first abortion case

  The post-Ginsburg Supreme Court's first abortion case It won't be long before we learn how the Supreme Court views abortion access following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.Any day now, the current eight-justice Supreme Court is expected to issue its first decision on abortion access. The case, Food and Drug Administration v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, considers abortion via pill and whether patients, in the midst of a deadly pandemic, should still be required to make an in-person trip to a doctor's office in order to receive the medication.

" The abortion pill puts women through a terrible emotional and physical ordeal," a spokesperson said. Women wanting an early abortion will be given the usual checks under the Abortion Act - although this does not apply in Northern Ireland where the law is much stricter than the rest of the UK

Anti- abortion activists gathered on the plinth at the bottom of Carson's statue, declaring changes to the law on abortion were not happening in their name. However, the DUP's Paul Givan said: "The legal opinion of the attorney general is crystal clear that it is permissible to suspend standing orders to

At the time the committee voted in favor, I remember thinking, “We did it! We did it!” My heart raced. But then, almost immediately, things started to go off the rails. They started talking about restricting it to only doctors who already provide abortion, which undermines the whole idea of it becoming more available. The idea was that it could be prescribed by any physician.


Video: Pushing for change | Activists speak about specific measures they want to see happen (WXIA-TV Atlanta)

It took four years to finally get approved, and once it was, medication abortion was subject to a whole host of restrictions. What did you think when that happened?

By that time, mifepristone had been approved in dozens of countries, used by millions of women and the safety record was already well known.

I thought the restrictions would be gone in a couple of years. When I was talking with our contacts inside the FDA in 1996, the message was: Let’s keep it with trained abortion doctors right at the beginning and then there’ll be no complications, and then it’ll be okay to loosen the rules and let any doctor prescribe it because we’ll have it established that it’s safe.

It was really short-sighted, the idea that avoiding complications would avoid a political backlash. There was always going to be a political backlash! People who oppose abortion oppose any kind of abortion, safe or not. They believe it’s wrong. It was a misguided strategy.

Amy Coney Barrett's record of advocating for limits to abortion rights

  Amy Coney Barrett's record of advocating for limits to abortion rights For someone who has long vowed to appoint what he called "pro-life" judges to the Supreme Court, President Donald Trump said this week that he didn't know the position of his nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Roe v. Wade, the nearly 50-year-old Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. © Stefani Reynolds/AP Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trumps nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, meets with Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. "You don't know her view on Roe v. Wade.

In 2007, when the REMS program was begun, mifepristone was added to the list of drugs requiring special oversight. What impact did that have?

If the original approval was an ankle bracelet, REMS was the prison. Nothing ever gets out of REMS. As a longtime women’s health activist, I’m not aware of any drug that has gotten out of REMS once it’s been put in, because it’s designed for dangerous drugs.

REMS is not a bad program. It’s designed for drugs that have proven efficacy but have some pretty serious dangers. So guidance is needed to maximize the risk-benefit ratio. But mifepristone is not a dangerous drug.

How does it make you feel, seeing medication abortion still regulated in such a strict way, after 20 years of evidence on its safety?

It’s completely wrong. It’s medically unjustifiable and politically motivated and has been for 20 years. I have some empathy for people in the FDA who are buffeted by political stresses and strains and anti-abortion legislators. I understand that they get a lot of pressure. But in the end, we need them to do their job, and their job is to be honest about the drugs they regulate, regardless of whether it’s a vaccine, whether it’s abortion care whether it’s chemotherapy, whether it’s obesity drugs. In this case, they’re not being intellectually honest with the world about the safety of the use of medication abortion.

Tell me about your recent campaign to end the REMS on medication abortion.

About a week after we all went home due to coronavirus, we started wondering, how are women going to get to the clinic? Dammit, we should just tell the FDA, they need to drop the REMS. Early in April we wrote a letter to the FDA commissioner signed by 83 organizations saying, drop it, drop it right now, drop it in a hurry because it’s urgent, and drop it forever because it’s a settled question, it is not needed to protect the safety of pregnant patients.

I got no response, not even an acknowledgment that I sent the letter. I then asked for a meeting; no acknowledgment that I asked for a meeting.

I’ve interacted with multiple commissioners appointed by Republicans and Democrats, and I’ve never, ever in all these years had an FDA commissioner’s office not even acknowledge that I sent a message or request for a meeting.

We hope there will be a shift in the political climate that makes it clear to the FDA that they will be free to go by the science and their actions will be understood as being science-based. They might get political criticism, but they won’t be stopped or have their budget cut or leader muzzled or something like that. If I wasn’t optimistic, I wouldn’t have stayed working in women’s health over 30 years. I’m not optimistic about the coming days. But I’m still optimistic about eventually getting the abortion pill out of these restrictions.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

India: Hundreds of thousands of tea pickers in Assam on indefinite strike .
© Biju BORO / AFP Tea pickers joined farmers in protesting the liberalization of the sale of fruits and vegetables. The strike began this Friday, October 9 to demand wage increases. These workers joined the farmers, who have been protesting for two weeks now against the new selling prices for fruit and vegetables. With our correspondent in Bangalore, Côme Bastin The State of Assam produces nearly 50% of India's tea, and it is found on many tables around the world.

usr: 0
This is interesting!