We Win When Abortion is on the Ballot
Every time abortion has been on the ballot since June, we have won, decisively. This week continues that trend.
Wisconsin for the Win! Milwaukee county circuit court judge, Janet Protasiewicz, won the primary election for State Supreme Court in Wisconsin yesterday by a 2:1 margin over the second-place finisher. Both candidates advance to an April election where our chance of victory is extremely good! This continues our winning streak since Roe was overturned, confirming all of the polling showing that abortion rights have majority of the public in every state (literally every state!)
All Eyes (Still) on Amarillo. As I wrote in my last newsletter, we are awaiting a ruling from a federal judge in Amarillo, TX on whether the FDA correctly approved abortion medication. There is no legal reason this lawsuit has gotten this far. The plaintiffs don’t have standing. Worse, the rationale that the FDA should not have approved Mifepristone 23 years ago and increased access to this safe medication over time is nonsensical. But, as with so many issues surrounding women’s health care, here we are again, waiting for a fundamentalist Christian judge deciding what women are allowed to do.
And what does the Biden administration plans to do if the judge decides that access to mifepristone is illegal in every state? Well, kinda nothing according to this article. “The Biden administration has, so far, rebuffed the groups’ calls for declaring a public health emergency for abortion. And top Biden administration health officials have downplayed the prospect that the pills may be banned, with HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra telling reporters last month that he’s “very confident” the court will side with the FDA.”
Eighteen states have rolled back abortion rights to almost zero since June. And yet, the administration continues to act like there is more to lose if they aren’t cautious. They could declare a federal state of medical emergency, which would enable federal health workers to help in banned states and provide access to money for blue states, but they have plans to do this. The administration’s response that this approach could backfire or wouldn’t provide a lot of help reflects a “business as usual” approach. There continues to be a sense in DC that talking about abortion, much less acting on it, is bad politics. I refer you to the win in Wisconsin last night.
This is also what the national Democratic party continues to get wrong about issues - the point isn’t to win right now on everything, it is to make sure people understand how hard you will fight for them. The other sides gets this, although since they abandoned anything resembling principles and policies it’s all performative politics. But, boy do they fight hard for their nonsense!
Extra credit reading: Access to abortion medication outside of a clinical setting (called self managed abortions) is a brand-new field of study. This model has grown tremendously in the last few years; first because of COVID and then because… well, you know why. This is one of the first studies of this model of care. The study itself is behind a paywall. But don’t worry, I read it for you! The bottom line is that self managed abortions are a super effective and safe way to provide abortion care.
You can read the article here (behind a paywall): https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-3-030-14449-4_165-1#chapter-info
What you can do to support abortion rights today:
Support clinical study on abortion medication as birth control. The brilliant Dr. Rebecca Gompert, the founder of AidAccess, is raising money to create clinical trials to use Mifepristone as birth control. As she has her entire career, Dr. Gompert is creating new ways for women to control their own reproduction. She has led the fight to get mifepristone to women before they are pregnant. Now she is advocating for weekly use of Mifepristone as birth control. She is raising money for the clinical trials. As Dr. Gompert writes, “To complete the study of 949 women using weekly mifepristone for a year, to provide the data we need in order to register it as a weekly contraceptive with the EMA, we need 2.2 million euro. We have already raised 500.000 euro and we can start the study when we can raise another 500.000 euro.” Please contribute if you can!