On Apr. 7, 2023, two federal district court judges issued conflicting preliminary injunctions. On Apr. 12, 2023, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling on the Texas case allowing mifepristone to remain on the market while the case is heard, but restricting access: the drug may only be dispensed up to seven weeks of pregnancy instead of 10 and may not be dispensed through the mail.
Idaho became the first (and, thus far, only) state to enact an “abortion trafficking” law (H.B. 242) on Apr. 5, 2023.
On Mar. 17, 2023, Wyoming became the first state without a complete abortion ban to outlaw the use of medication abortions.
On Jan. 3, 2023, the FDA announced that certified pharmacies will be allowed to dispense the abortion medication mifepristone to people with a prescription, removing the requirement that only a healthcare provider may dispense the medication.
In a 2022 report, the World Health Organization and the Guttmacher Institute found that between 36 to 47 abortions were performed per 1,000 women (ages 15-49) yearly in countries where abortion is broadly legal. In countries where abortion is banned, between 31 and 51 abortions were performed per 1,000 women (ages 15-49) yearly.
On Sep. 1, 2022, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced an interim final rule that the VA would provide abortions to veterans and VA beneficiaries in some cases, regardless of state laws. Abortions will be available if the life or health of the pregnant person is in danger and in cases of rape and incest.
The following day, Aug. 24, 2022, US District Judge B. Lynn Winmill blocked an Idaho ban on emergency abortions. Winmill wrote the court was tasked with determining “whether Idaho’s criminal abortion statute conflicts with a small but important corner of federal legislation. It does.” The conflict between the Aug. 23 ruling and the Aug. 24 ruling could send abortion rights back to the US Supreme Court.
On Aug. 23, 2022, US District Court Judge James Wesley Hendrix ruled that the HHS guidance about the EMTALA was “unauthorized.”
On July 13 2022, the Biden Administration issued clarifying guidance with examples of when pharmacies that receive federal assistance (including via Medicare and Medicaid payments) are not allowed to refuse to fill prescriptions for drugs that may end a pregnancy lest they violate federal civil rights laws.
In guidance issued by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on July 11, 2022, the Biden Administration “reaffirmed that it [the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)] protects providers when offering legally-mandated, life- or health-saving abortion services in emergency situations” and that, in emergency situations, “this federal law preempts state law restricting access to abortion in emergency situations.”
On July 8, 2022, President Joe Biden signed “Executive Order on Protecting Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services.” The order directs Health and Human Services (HHS) to submit a report within 30 days on what actions HHS is taking to protect access to abortion and other reproductive services; states HHS will expand access to emergency contraception and long-acting reversible contraception as well as education about abortion; directs HHS to update physician responsibilities and protections guidance under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act; establishes an interagency reproductive health care access task force; collects private pro bono lawyers and organizations to provide legal representation to those seeking and providing abortions; directs the Federal Trade Commission and HHS to consider taking steps to protect patient privacy; and providing safety to those seeking and providing abortions.
On June 24, 2022, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in a 6-3 decision, eliminating the federal constitutional right to abortion.
A June 2, 2022 Gallup poll found 58% of Americans are opposed to overturning Roe v. Wade, and 55% of Americans identified as “pro-choice.”
Explore new and updated arguments, history, and other resources.
A first draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito indicated the court would overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The final opinion, which could be different than the leak, is not due to be published by the Supreme Court until late June 2022.