Ruling Against Abortion Pill Would Be ‘Devastating,’ 22 Attorneys General Say

Abortionists across the country are bracing themselves for potential fallout over the Texas court case. A ruling is expected soon. – HEADLINE HEALTH 

KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

NBC News: Texas Lawsuit Seeking To Reverse FDA Approval Of Abortion Pills

On Friday, New York Attorney General Letitia James led a coalition of 22 attorneys general in filing a brief that argued that if the FDA were ordered to rescind its approval of mifepristone, that would have “devastating consequences” for women across the U.S., regardless of their state’s abortion policy. Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, meanwhile, led a group of 22 Republican attorneys general who filed a brief calling the FDA’s approval of abortion pills “deeply flawed.” (Atkins, 2/11)

Bloomberg: Abortion Providers Gear Up For Judge’s Ruling Over Pill Approval

Health providers are bracing for massive disruptions as they await a federal judge’s decision on whether to halt national access to an abortion pill approved decades ago by the Food and Drug Administration. Trump-appointed Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk is expected to rule soon on the Alliance Defending Freedom’s request for a preliminary injunction stopping the sale and distribution of mifepristone, a drug used as part of a regimen to end a pregnancy within the first 10 weeks. (Castronuovo and Lopez, 2/10)

Axios: 40 Million Would Lose Abortion Access If Court Blocks Pill, Study Shows

40 million more women would lose access to abortion care if a federal court revokes the use of a key drug in medication abortions, data from the abortion rights group NARAL shows. (Gonzalez, 2/10)

Axios: Dissatisfaction With Abortion Policy Highest Since 2001

People in America are more dissatisfied with the U.S.’s abortion policy than they have ever been in the 23 years, according to a new Gallup poll released Friday. Democrats’ dissatisfaction with laws have jumped after the fall of Roe last June and nationwide GOP-led efforts to enforce abortion restrictions. For over 20 years, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to express dissatisfaction, per Gallup. (Chen, 2/10)

In other abortion news —

Wyoming Public Radio: A Trigger Ban On A Trigger Ban: House Lawmakers Adopt A Bill To Ban Abortion If Last Year’s Ban Is Ruled Unconstitutional

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Last year, the Wyoming legislature passed a trigger ban that went into effect when Roe vs. Wade was overturned in June. That law is currently being challenged in court, so abortion is still legal in the state. One of the main arguments against the trigger ban is that it violates a certain section of the Wyoming constitution that’s been on a lot of lawmakers’ lips recently: Article 1, section 38: Right to health care access. It reads, “ Each competent adult shall have the right to make his or her own health care decisions. The parent, guardian or legal representative of any other natural person shall have the right to make healthcare decisions for that person.” (Kudelska, 2/10)

Politico: Republicans Clash With Prosecutors Over Enforcement Of Abortion Bans

GOP lawmakers see a major flaw in their states’ near-total abortion bans: Some local prosecutors won’t enforce them. Republicans in Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Texas — frustrated by progressive district attorneys who have publicly pledged not to bring charges under their state’s abortion laws — have introduced bills that would allow state officials to either bypass the local prosecutors or kick them out of office if their abortion-related enforcement is deemed too lenient. (Ollstein and Messerly, 2/12)

The Wall Street Journal: Women Encounter Abortion Delays As Clinics Draw Patients From Out Of State

Seven months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, some abortion clinics say new state bans on the procedure are pushing abortions later into pregnancy. Since the high court’s decision to remove constitutional protections for abortion, the procedure has become largely inaccessible in nearly one-third of the states, either because a ban is in place or because clinics have shut down owing to legal uncertainty. (Kusisto and Owens, 2/12)

More on pregnancy and childbirth —

CNN: Kentucky Sees Its 1st Infant Anonymously Surrendered At A Fire Station ‘Baby Box’
An infant in Kentucky became the first in the state to be dropped off safely in a “baby box” at a fire station last week, following the passage of a state law allowing anonymous surrendering of newborns at such devices. (Riess, 2/12)

NBC News: Mississippi Hit By 900% Spike In Babies Treated For Congenital Syphilis

The number of babies in Mississippi being treated for congenital syphilis has jumped by more than 900% over five years, uprooting the progress the nation’s poorest state had made in nearly quashing what experts say is an avoidable public health crisis. The rise in cases has placed newborns at further risk of life-threatening harm in a state that’s already home to the nation’s worst infant mortality rate. (Harris, 2/11)

The New York Times: Childbirth Is Deadlier For Black Families Even When They’re Rich, Expansive Study Finds

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In the United States, the richest mothers and their newborns are the most likely to survive the year after childbirth — except when the family is Black, according to a groundbreaking new study of two million California births. The richest Black mothers and their babies are twice as likely to die as the richest white mothers and their babies.

Research has repeatedly shown that Black mothers and babies have the worst childbirth outcomes in the United States. But this study is novel because it’s the first of its size to show how the risks of childbirth vary by both race and parental income, and how Black families, regardless of their socioeconomic status, are disproportionately affected. (Miller, Kliff and Buchanan, 2/12)

NBC News: Wildfire Smoke Exposure In Pregnancy Raises Risk Of Preterm Birth

A study of more than 2.5 million pregnant people in California found that those exposed to wildfire smoke for at least one day faced a higher risk of giving birth prematurely. The findings were presented Saturday at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting and are currently undergoing peer review. They’re set to be published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. (Bendix, 2/11)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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