American women struggle under abortion bills


Asher Hagan

Abortion restrictions have controlled American women’s bodies for years. For some, this ensures women and children’s safety. To many others, it’s a tyrannical method to strengthen officials’ power over women’s bodies.

Emily Loewe, Staff Writer

Abortion restrictions have controlled American women’s bodies for years. For some, this ensures women and children’s safety. To many others, it’s a tyrannical method to strengthen officials’ power over women’s bodies. March 17, 2023, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed a bill banning the use of Mifepristone, a pill used to terminate pregnancies of ten weeks. This drug was passed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000, who determined that it was “safe and effective for its indicated use,” helping women terminate unwanted pregnancies.

Gordon’s bill was signed at the same time that Texas judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk ordered a nationwide ban on the pill. The ban was done in response to a lawsuit against the FDA by the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine (AHM). AHM is a coalition made up of anti-abortion groups aiming to abolish all abortion treatments.

“The two-party system, where it’s us-versus-them, pins the Republican and Democratic parties against each other,” math teacher Edward Day said. “While the Republicans are in power, they will attack and build the resources to fight against the Liberals, and vice-versa. They are focused on the differences in ideals instead of strengthening what they already have.” 

The FDA/AHM lawsuit argues whether or not the FDA properly reviewed their data on Mifepristone and followed standard regulations. AHM claims that the FDA kept the pill on the market for political reasons, disregarding women’s safety. The FDA has denied this accusation, claiming that they stand behind the safety regulations used for Mifepristone. 

“We have these two or three issues that pretty much decide everything else about how the government works,” Day said. “I would just like to see a little bit less divide between parties. “

Kacsmaryk was expected to rule in favor of the AHM. This belief stems from Senate representatives who opposed Kacsmaryk’s initial nomination to the Senate by former President Donald Trump in 2017. After Trump’s selection, Women’s Rights and LGBTQ Rights groups joined Senators in their opposition to Kacsmaryk’s nomination due to his policies on equal rights. 

“I hope to see politicians that are more open-minded and supportive of women in the future, and who at least allow us to have the choice to make our own decisions,” junior Mia Bridget said. “You shouldn’t enforce your own religion or concepts that don’t have anything to do with religion. Not everyone is Christian or religious in America, we’re a big melting pot. It doesn’t make sense to push these restrictions when it only supports some parts of the country.”

Kacsmaryk issued his preliminary ruling on April 7, 2023, invalidating the FDA’s safe ruling over Mifepristone. If this ruling stands, all American women, even those in states with legal abortion, would struggle to get access to this drug. Many have already voiced their opposition to this bill’s ratification, including a Washington judge who issued a new ruling going directly against Judge Kacsmaryk’s decision; it orders the FDA to make no changes to the availability of Mifepristone in a certain 18 states, all of whom filed lawsuits against the Mifepristone ban. The current situation is expected to end up in front of the Supreme Court, in a similar situation to when Roe v. Wade was overturned in June last year.  

“As many people joke around with coat hanger abortions, people need to know that’s a very real thing,” an anonymous senior said. “Politicians are putting women in more danger, because we have to resort to these solutions because they blocked access to abortion. If women can’t have the baby, or just can’t afford to have the baby, then they’re gonna find one way or another way to get rid of it, even if that could cause them permanent damage.” 

There has been opposition from many citizens, who believe women should have the choice to decide whether or not to get an abortion. As of April 15, 2023, a Federal appeals court ruled that Mifepristone will not be taken off the market, but restrictions for buying it will increase. The case is currently in front of the Supreme Court, who have held that the Federal Appellate Court ruling stands for the time being, as they make decisions behind the scenes in the so called “shadow docket.”

“This is the first step into worse abortion restrictions, but if we get more women in charge, and get different people in charge of the country, we’ll get more support for women’s choice efforts,” Bridget said. “It’s definitely going to make abortion regulation way stricter. But I know, in the future, we can also always undo old legislation and pass new bills that support our ideals, even though it’ll be tough to do so.”