"Advocates for abortion rights don’t get a lot of good news, but Wednesday brought some," MSNBC.com's Irin Carmon gleefully opened her March 30 story, "FDA move could radically transform abortion access."
"The federal Food and Drug Administration has made a major change in how it labels medication that induces abortion, robbing anti-abortion lawmakers of a key tool they have had to limit access," she explained, going immediately to action from the abortion-rights lobby:
“We are delighted,” said Vicki Saporta of the National Abortion Federation, the major professional association for abortion providers. The new move, she said, “brings the label for mifepristone in-line with scientific research and evidence-based practice.”
Later in her story she went on to quote another abortion-rights activist (emphases mine):
David Brown, an attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights involved in the Texas case and separate challenges to medication abortion laws in Oklahoma and Arizona, said the reasons for the drop were due to how the restrictions, passed at the same time as part of an omnibus abortion bill, worked in tandem.
When the same 2013 law required that abortion providers have local hospital admitting privileges, about half of Texas’s abortion clinics closed. Now, women had a narrower window by three weeks to get to a dwindling number of clinics. “When you add to that the waiting time caused by the closure of clinics, you have a situation where medication abortion is out of reach for many women,” said Brown.
The old labeling also required a post-treatment examination to the same clinic, 14 days later. “In Texas, where many women now have to drive hundreds of miles to access a clinic, it’s prohibitive,” said Brown.
In Arizona, where the medication abortion restriction was previously vanquished in court, the legislature has already sent to the governor a bill that would explicitly undercut the FDA’s move today. That law specifies that doctors must follow the label “in effect as of December 31, 2015.” The Arizona Daily Star reported that Republican Gov. Doug Ducey is expected to sign the bill into law.
Said Brown, “It would be the first law that I’m aware of that would specifically require doctors to practice 20th century medicine in the 21st century.”
Of course, at no point in her 16-paragraph story did Carmon quote any pro-life activists or medical experts who dissent from the FDA's policy shift on use of the RU-486 abortion drug.
But then, that's par for the course for a woman who was honored in 2013 by the New York Abortion Access Fund with their Champion for Choice Award.